An Evening With The Vegetarian Librarian Comes to Bakehouse Theatre
In the war between Boomers and Millennials where does that leave a Gen X Vegetarian Librarian? Conducting a funeral among the shelves of her beloved books on a most unusual Tuesday.... One of the break-out hits of the 2019 Adelaide Fringe, Tracy Crisp is back with An Evening with the Vegetarian Librarian.
Novelist, theatre maker and comedian, this storytelling slashie is no stranger to selling out shows. Last year's "vivid and affecting" The Forgettory scored a five-star review in The Advertiser and its predecessor, Pearls ("particularly poignant" - Adelaide Theatre Guide 2018) similarly didn't have an empty seat in the house. An Evening with the Vegetarian Librarian completes Crisp's trilogy of memoir-monologue pieces, detailing how she went from librarian to funeral celebrant.
"As a reaction to our dark political times it's much more light-hearted than my other pieces and draws more heavily on my early work as a stand-up comedian," says Crisp, a former Raw Comedy National Finalist who had to change creative gears when she moved to Abu Dhabi and "there wasn't much of a comedy scene there".
Now back living by the beach in Adelaide, An Evening with the Vegetarian Librarian interweaves an increasingly ridiculous, slightly-made-up-but-mostly-true story about being the meat in the intergenerational sandwich of the modern Australian workplace with a more poignant story about what books, reading and writing means to Crisp.
"The show is about how stories connect me to my family, friends and to people whose experiences are different to my own and culminates in my decision to become a funeral celebrant as a way of helping other people to tell the stories of the people they have loved," she says.
A masterful wordsmith ("She's whimsical, witty, perceptive, and erudite and she has a glorious way with words" - Samela Harris, The Barefoot Review) Crisp uses South Australia as the canvas on which she places her image-rich writing. Her debut novel, Black Dust Dancing, is about a fictional town reminiscent of Port Pirie, while her 2018 release, Surrogate, is set in contemporary Adelaide. "Vivid and intense with personal and local detail" said The Advertiser of the book.
This live trilogy is no different. "Her reflections on growing up in SA bring the state to life in a way we don't often see on stage," said The Advertiser's Louise Nunn about The Forgettory, which artfully melded the geographically specific with the heart-breakingly universal in its sensitive exploration of family identity and memory through birth, death and dementia. Her first solo show, Pearls, told the story of her mother's last day on earth and established her critically lauded reputation for her unique blend of poignancy and humour. Now, she brings it all home, back to where every one of her shows has debuted, to the Adelaide Fringe for An Evening with the Vegetarian Librarian.
An Evening with the Vegetarian Librarian - written and performed by Tracy Crisp
Dates and times: Feb 17 - 22; 24 - 29 at 7.30pm
Venue: Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas Street, Adelaide 5000
Tickets: $20 - $28 through adelaidefringe.com.au
More info: tracycrisp.com.au