The Hay and Spinks show – ‘A Tasmanian Map’ – has now had three iterations. I’ve previously posted notifications in advance, but in the case of the last two shows I’ve neglected to report on how they’ve gone. This is by way of rectification.
The performance on April 14 in the Trowunna Wildlife Park at Mole Creek exceeded all expectations. I was trepidatious – surely, I thought, way out here we’ll be performing exclusively for the devils. But no – a full house, and a wildly appreciative one at that, with people travelling all the way from Launceston and even further. Bert was, as ever, superbly on song, and I was happy with how I went, too, though the chronic bronchial condition with which I now must live put in an unwelcome appearance. The repertoire from the Hobart show was tweaked so that the new playlist would exhibit a distinctly more northern emphasis, and this was a good decision, I think. One addition was the ‘wild colonial girl’ section of ‘Up In The Stirrups’ (you can find it in Physick), and it was so successful I’m inclined to repeat it. I thank my dear old friend and erstwhile Thylacinians Cricket Club teammate, the redoubtable Roo Kelly, for hosting us at the wildlife park. And I should also acknowledge the bright-eyed residents of Roo’s devil breeding enclosure, a few short metres from whom I bunked for the night.
On June 4 we were at Lilydale, this time in Rudy Valentino’s amazing business premises, the Valentino Safe Company. Yes, that’s ‘safe’ as in strongbox for securing valuables. You won’t believe me, so here’s a pic of the facade, courtesy of Kate Crowley and Jerry de Gryse, who travelled up all the way from Hobart. The audience was huge! The VSC was utterly packed, and again the boundary separating wariness of poetry from full-blown crowd appreciation was crossed with ease. Bert was brilliant yet again (I’ve included an image, with thanks, this time, to Roo, who made the long trip from Mole Creek. I can’t help feeling that the codger’s new lease of life is a consequence of having to match the panache of the charismatic kid, a poet and storyman extraordinaire. I probably didn’t match it (I reprised the wild colonial girl and don’t think I performed this as well as I had in Trowunna), but I was more than happy. And how could I not be pleased, for the mood of the night was downright euphoric! And it continued to be so when the performing party + Roo retired to Gordie and Suzy’s marvellous ecohaven up the Mount Arthur road for a convivial pre-sleep debrief. The tough nuts (which is to say, neither Anna nor I) roistered on until 3am.
We’re now putting the show away for winter, but I’m having such fun with this project that I can’t wait to crank it up again. It’s keeping this creaky old codger creatively alive.