So my stint as volunteer has drawn to a close.
Last night I was at the Cobalt Cafe – but solely as an audience member this time – having taken the evening off from my doorwhore duties. I like the Cobalt Cafe. It’s located on North Great George’s Street and is the ground floor of a Georgian building – the family that runs it, live upstairs, so in a sense it’s like being in someone’s living room – a posh living room I grant you, but a livingroom nonetheless.
The only time I have been there previously was for a wedding reception – well a civil partnership reception. On that occasion my most vivid memory was of smoking a fag out back with the lady of the house gossiping about her neighbour David Norris – she only had kind words to say about him however despite my not so subtle fishing for scandal.
Last night’s show was international theatre shorts. There were four pieces.
The first was ‘Turning 18’ which was written and directed and starring an Iranian actor called Ara B who fled Iran, and who now lives in London. He couldn’t give his full name out of fear that his family in Iran could face harassment and persecution by the regime there if it were discovered that he is gay. It’s the story of his life as a political activist and gay man in a country where the punishment for homosexuality is the death sentence.
Based on his background and story, I really wanted to like this play.
Let’s just leave it there then, shall we.
The other 3 shorts were by American companies. ‘Nun of the above’ is a comedy about a mermaid being held hostage by a priest, and the friendship she develops with a nun. ‘Super-lubricated’ is a conversation between an elderly widow buying condoms at 3am in Walgreens, and the middle aged gay shop assistant who serves her. ‘Julie Andrews is the devil’ is the story of a nun who has just re-entered the real world who meets a lesbian folk singer.
These three pieces were all entertaining and funny.
Today I was at Outhouse for the matinee of ‘Erect but unstable’ – a one man show starring John Sweet. He’s a Montreal based writer and actor. This play is the reflections of a neurotic middle-aged man as he manoeuvres through life and Canada. He speaks about his relationship issues, erectile dysfunction, psychotherapy.
It was absolutely hilarious. I particularly loved the scene where he is telling his shrink about his sexual awakening reading ‘David Copperfield’ as his mother is sitting by the fireplace reading recipes out loud.
It was a wonderful last show to see, so I hope he has a big audience for his finale tonight.
Tonight I am having the night off. I’m not rubber band you know – my time can only stretch so far.
The festival has been wonderful. I’ve seen some amazing shows, and some ‘challenging’ ones.
I’ll be doing it again, if they’ll have me, I hope.
Long live le theatre.