Photo - Talya Chalef
In La Mama’s newly renovated courtyard we meet Lloyd Beckmann Stitz – aging Queenslander and enthusiastic beekeeper. He explains the science and art of making honey while introducing us to his hive. After a tour of the garden we are invited into his granny flat, offered cups of tea or Four X, and we settle onto the settee among family photographs and treasured memorabilia. Our affable host regales us with his tales of life and loss, stopping only to pass around a plate of fresh honeycomb and some paw paw from his long-suffering crops.
Actor Tim Stitz shares his family with the audience in Lloyd Beckmann, Beekeeper, portraying his paternal grandfather with undeniable charm and energy in this remarkably personal solo performance, co-created with director Kelly Somes. Amazed by his Grandad’s ability to endure all of life’s tribulations with a stiff upper lip, Stitz adopts his signature characteristics to reveal the intimate portrait of a man determined to endure any heartbreak doing what he knows best – making honey and telling stories.
Transforming the theatre into a comfortable lounge immediately welcomes us into the world of Lloyd Beckmann. Subtle lighting from occasional lamps set the mood, and the program credits ‘aroma designer’ Jodie Ahrens with the distinct honey smell wafting through the room. We perch on furniture, and being excellent houseguests, nibble cookies and lean in to hear more.
Blending direct-address with moments of theatrical flair Lloyd Beckmann is an intriguing dialogue across generations - a cozy theatrical event that is worth going home for the visit.
Two Blue Cherries & Soulart presents
Lloyd Beckmann, Beekeeper
devised by Tim Stitz & Kelly Somes
Directed by Kelly Somes
Venue: La Mama, 205 Faraday Street, Carlton
Dates: February 3 – February 14, 2010
Times: Wed & Sun at 6.30pm, Thurs to Sat at 8.00pm
Duration: 75 minutes approx.
Tickets: $25 / $12 (conc.)
Bookings: 9347 6142 | www.lamama.com.au