I caught Lisa-Skye‘s Songs My Parents Taught Me at the ‘pop-up’ venue Tuxedo Cat in Melbourne last night — love this town and how it uses these spaces so creatively — and what an enjoyable hour* it was.
Songs My Parents Taught Me is a clever piece of memoir/biography, centred on the 1970s couple Maddog and Bunny. The night’s chat is a fond, second-hand reminiscence passed down by her parents, heavy on the ‘Wogs’ and drugs and booze and partying. The anecdotes serve as a springboard for Skye’s reflections on drugs, sexuality, parenthood … of growing up, however reluctantly and defiantly.
‘Some people are sexually attracted to fire,’ she says, summarising teenage proclivities for setting things on fire and masturbating.
And one can’t help wonder if that was a summary of Bunny and Maddog’s carefree life, both of them having passed away before Lisa-Skye had a chance to know them.
Lisa-Skye is so personable, her face so expressive, an hour in her velvet-draped pad passes quickly. Her show has some fetching touches: audience engagement, slide shows to help make connections and score some visual chuckles, several wonderfully constructed spoken word pieces set to the ticking of a metronome.
Southern Comfort lovers may be offended; others might never see a knitting needle again without thinking about a shark making love to a space rocket. (You have to be there.)
The conversation at Lisa-Skye’s place is engaging, at times confronting, a little loose and undoubtedly entertaining, with some food for thought – and glitter – thrown in. And the punchline – oh so very nicely done.
* Due to the unfortunate train timetable and the show going a little over time, I missed the last three minutes or so, but Lisa-Skye very kindly sent me the script for that final portion.
Songs My Parents Taught Me runs until April 21.