I decided to see a festival show in the evening, and chose a Swiss production that I knew nothing about – Hashirigaki (meaning talking whilst walking in Japanese). It was performance art, combining interesting design, beautiful lighting, a gorgeous soundscape, text from Gertrude Stein’s The Making of an American, movement and more. It was art, but didn’t take itself too seriously, a mistake often made by such productions. It made for quite a daffy evening’s interest.
I ended up sitting next to Leslie Tan, and we chatted about various things, which was good as we hadn’t managed to get together for that purpose yet. The ushers of the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall should be given their own show in next year’s festival. Tonight, they certainly did their best to steal the show from the performers we’d paid to see. They would be a fine match for the Shelverton family at Hobart’s Theatre Royal.
They fiddled with drapes, dropped trays of glasses outside the door and entered and exited the theatre during the performance for no apparent reason (except for one who came in near the end of the show and gathered up his change of clothes, shoes and hanger that he’d left on a seat). They managed all of this whilst being of no service whatsoever to the audience (I found I’d forgotten to collect a program before taking my seat, and had to descend three floors to get one from the main foyer!)