Where To From Here?

Where To From Here?
By Tracy Crisp, Adelaide Fringe. Studio 166, Goodwood Theatres. 2-12 March 2023

‘Excuse me,’ is the common introduction to Tracy Crisps’s encounters through this wonderful monologue of Gen Xs looking back on their world. On the surface, her story is about a train trip from here to somewhere, and about the people she meets – but goes much deeper: it’s not just the baggage she’s shoving into a locker, it’s that which remains in her head and heart.

This is a terrific journey through the mind of someone who is constantly doing, yet at the same time, questioning what they’ve done, what they could have, should have, done instead. Relating her history through those she meets on the train, in the station café, or in the queue for the toilets, the familiarity of the others is because she sees herself in them, had she made different choices at various points in her life.

It's nostalgic and poignant, with each memory bring joy, sadness, or cringe to Crisp’s expression. She is especially skilled in tangents, weaving the colour of the bedroom paint and visits to IKEA into the threads of her narrative – and it works because it’s real: our minds are constantly bombarded with distractions and reminders of things we were supposed to do, or have done but forgot how. Her poem is particularly precise - and concise.

This is perceptive writing: there are plenty of nodding heads and chuckling recognition throughout, the occasional curse stuns but is perfectly targeted, and knowing references to our local politicians are mocking without being mean. It’s a show for a generation, but not exclusively so – and it’s presented as a good club to be in (as this reviewer knows only too well). When confronted with millennials announcing their ‘middle age’, Crisp is wide-eyed: ‘Hang on,’ she says in consternation, ‘didn’t we just get here?’

Mark Wickett

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