By Margie Brown-Ash. La Boite Indie & The Nest Ensemble. Roundhouse Theatre, Brisbane.18-28 July, 2012.

This show falls into my category of ‘pocket’ theatre: intimate, audience-engaging, personal, similar to Victorian drawing room presentations.

What Margi Brown Ash performs, with son Travis Ash on keyboards, is her own life story so far, embellished with moving anecdotes from other people of her generation, gathered over past years as she developed this piece in Houston Texas, Israel/Palestine, Egypt, Mexico and Perth.

As she relates the story she selects audience members to join the performance as family members. Her ingenuity in ways to let them know how to respond is clever.

The show encapsulates what home means to Brown Ash, and by extension, reassures us in the audience that our life is also important in the overall scheme of things.

Artist Bev Jensen designed the performance space as an installation piece: soft curtains on three sides form a welcoming space, and her suspended Perspex art works further illuminate the essence of the show, as well as providing essential set and prop pieces.

Back projection images (especially those from early Egyptian history) brilliantly support Margi Brown Ash’s odyssey. Kudos here also to AV programmer Freddy Komp for his technical contribution, also to  Co-deviser and Director Leah Mercer.

Ben Hughes lights the show sympathetically, while Travis Ash provides the soundscape as well as escaping the keyboards occasionally to join the storytelling.

It’s a slick professional performance, but unlikely to connect with a wide audience.

Jay McKee

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