The natives are getting restless, Carruthers... ~ theatre notes

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The natives are getting restless, Carruthers...

"Come on, Croggers," irascible commentator Fog said yesterday. "Where are ya? ... Really hoping you're not dead..."

No, I'm not dead. Far from it. And as this crazy old climate - if it can be dignified with that noun, rather than other, cruder words that rise pettishly to my lips - slugs our fair city with record-breaking heat, it seems strangely opportune to launch Ms TN, 2009 edition.

Admittedly, after two days of mid-40 temperatures my hair looks like straw and, with the rest of the Melburnian population, my eyes have a disturbing maniacal glint; but on the other hand, my brow is luminous with honest sweat and my cheeks cheerfully flushed. For all the lack of aircon in my humble abode, I am feeling upright and full of well-being. Zing, even.

Why? Because I have a new desk and no longer live in terror of annihilation under an avalanche of books. Here it is:


What's more, I really did use that time off to rethink my life. It needed it. By the end of last year I was a wraith, my soul withering on the ends of my shredded nerves. I’ve had more traumatic years, but I’ve never flirted so recklessly with total burnout as I did through 2008. I’m not doing that again. It takes all the fun out of things. And, as I was forcibly reminded by Dorothy Porter's unexpected death just before Christmas, life is too short anyway.

Hence the New Me, to go with the New Desk. You mightn’t be able to tell the difference between TN 2008 and this one, but the important thing is that I can. I don't expect huge changes here, if any; but I do have two, and possibly four, major projects on the boil this year, which means that I will consciously abandon the vain pretence that TN can offer comprehensive coverage of Melbourne theatre. There will be (and in fact this January already have been) regrettable misses. Depth rather than breadth has always been my strong suit, and I'll be playing to my strengths. So I apologise in advance to those companies whose shows I miss and exhort you, as ever, to keep in touch. I do get there in the end.

Furthermore, I have updated my blogroll and links page (those with further suggestions are welcome to email me) and brought my review listings up to the present. Which made me realise that this blog is now in its fifth year of operation. Bloody hell. It doesn't seem like five years.

So now we're back online, and raring to go. Tomorrow, in pleasing concordance with the general theme of renewal, TN kicks off with a review of Poor Boy, the first show in the MTC's swish new Sumner Theatre. So watch this space.

9 comments:

George Hunka said...

Nice desk!

And welcome to year five. Has it been that long? It's already been a hell of a half-decade ...

Chris Boyd said...

I see Robinson's Lemon Barley Water (no Vodka), tissues (you're obviously reviewing a weepie or musing on the fate of mainstream theatre in Melbourne), your own blog on-screen...

I can't help but notice the absence of (a) mess and (b) an hashtray. Such discipline. Such damn fool bravado.


P.S. The word verification is extrablo. So that's what's keepin' you goin'... a bit of Colombia's finest.

Alison Croggon said...

Many thanks, George. I guess we're the hardbitten types who sits around the winter fires whittling, spitting into the hearth and recalling the legendary highs and lows of earlier seasons...

As for you, Boyd (another fellow whittler) nothing much gets past you! Were you examing that pic with a magnifying glass? Thank god it was such low quality! But yes, the vodka is in the freezer, where it belongs. The tissues are for hayfever. And it really is Robinson's lemon barley water...

George said...

Wait a minute, lemme grab my cane ...

Matt Scholten said...

I was present at Ms TN's home for a short period today and I can verify that it is in fact only Lemon Barley Water which I myself thirstily sampled and found quite delicious and perfect for this tee-totallar in such warm weather. Cheers again Ms TN!

Alison Croggon said...

If you need a cane, George, you'll be in trouble in about two years, when that daughter of yours, if she's anything like mine, will be leading you a pretty dance. My early memories of young Zoe are mostly of my chasing her down various busy streets as she fled chuckling into the distance. (Not much has changed really, she could even land on your doorstep one day soon). So if you're not fit now, you'll need to be.

And my pleasure indeed, Matt. Though there really is some excellent vodka in the freezer, with which I have been known to make a mean martini... shame that you are a teetotaller, or I would treat you!

George said...

Don't worry, Alison. Two months of pacing up and down hallways holding a colicky baby have done wonders for my upper-body strength and my lower back.

Our door is always open to any visiting Croggons! I'm sure Marilyn would be happy to remake her acquaintance.

Andrew Haydon said...

"after two days of mid-40 temperatures my hair looks like straw and, with the rest of the Melburnian population, my eyes have a disturbing maniacal glint..."

Thanks, Alison. We British really feel your pain.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/gallery/2009/feb/02/pictures-of-snow-in-england?picture=342667571

Nice to have you back - and yes, at some point I will get around to saying why I liked Grace.

Alison Croggon said...

Hi Andrew - The snow looks completely gorgeous. You lucky creatures you.

Extreme heat can make you feel like a hunted animal. There's no escape. And then your body (no to mention the entire infrastructure of Melbourne) begins to implode. The horror! The horror!