2015 Eye of the Storm – Day 5
with festival guest blogger Mark MacLean
Monday, 21 September 2015
I recently went to see a friend in a theatre production at Newcastle’s Civic Playhouse. It was a matinee and he was on again that evening so we’d agreed to go to the Criterion because they’ve got Coopers stout on tap and so I was standing outside the stage door, waiting for Pat, when out come half a dozen of the most gorgeous women I’d ever seen. They mooched down Hunter Street for a few yards before pulling out their packs of unfiltered ciggies from their shoulder bags and lighting up. Pat appeared, nodded in their direction and smiled. “They’re from the Moscow Ballet,” he said. “It’s what I love about this game: we can be all glamour and adoration on stage, but we all slope out the stage door the same way at the end of the night.”
It’s Monday and my friends are going to work and taking conference calls and getting on with the stuff that Real People do when they’re in the Real World. I know that I’ll have to engage with it soon but I’m reluctant to let go of Festival World; it was such a nice place to spend the weekend.
Last night I found myself at the bar of Monte’s at the same time as Candy Royalle and I shyly introduced myself and praised her for her performances. I suppose that she too leaves by the stage door at some point and has to move about among the Real People in the Real World yet somehow I can’t imagine it.
I flick through the program and think of all the things I didn’t get time to see or do. I bet that Glenn Morrison’s tour of the Todd River was fantastic. When I slipped across its dry bed the other day all I saw was a dead magpie.
Tomorrow I will find myself leaving Alice Springs. I’ll stare hard out the window trying to make a photograph in my head of what I’m seeing, just as I did the first time I left Alice Springs in 1985. And I also know that one day, much to my astonishment, I’ll be back.
Thank you to all the people who shared their stories and songs and poems over the last four days. It was a privilege to meet you and hear you speak about the many and varied sources of the creative wellspring from which we all drink. Go well, write, read, and let’s all do it again soon!