I am two-thirds of the way through a planned trilogy titled You Can’t Hide in the Desert. In the first show, Pearls, I told the story of my mum’s strange pearls of wisdom. In the second, The Forgettory, I explored the meaning of family memory. In the final show, An Evening With the Vegetarian Librarian, I’ll be bringing it all together in a much more light-hearted piece telling the story of how a librarian became a funeral celebrant (well, one version of it anyway).
Written and performed as monologues, these shows mark a significant change in the direction of my work. When I started writing Pearls I was intending to write a conventional memoir for publication. However, the more I wrote, the more I realised I was writing a piece for performance. It was a bit scary (terrifying) deciding to put on a show. I have dabbled in stand-up, but I had never written for theatre and I hadn’t acted since I was Grandpa Joe in Port Pirie Youth Theatre’s production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But it’s been worth every scary (terrifying) second. Learning how to perform has given me a whole new way to see my writing.
Each piece has been debuted at the Adelaide Fringe, but I have also performed at other venues around South Australia.
Adelaide Fringe Festival 2019, Yankalilla 2019, ZestFest 2019
After selling out at the Adelaide Fringe, I am remounting The Forgettory as part of ZestFest in October.
Alone in a new city, her last bottle of wine nearly empty, a woman drinks but never forgets. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, her grandfather wanders the past fighting to remember. Told with poignancy and humour, a compassionate, engaging story about a woman’s identity and ageing. If we don’t remember who we were, then who do we become?
“Tracy Crisp’s stories of memory and family are so vivid and affecting in The Forgettory they stay with you long after the theatre lights fade.” Louise Nunn, The Advertiser, five stars.
First performed at Adelaide Fringe 2018