You’re sitting in a room at the North Melbourne Town Hall, a bare room room with two musicians harmonising sweet, whimsical tunes. Enter Wil Greenaway. Now you’re barrelling down an open road at night with the stars singing overhead, on a mission that the strange interconnectedness of life has taken you on. “We’re all a joke and the world is in on it,” says Greenaway with a cheeky, meaningful grin.
The award-winning storyteller weaves tales that leave you wanting to lie on the beach and ponder the night sky. Or curl up in a ball and listen while you’re waiting to welcome the comfort of dreams.
He captures the romance of a hot drunken Christmas eve on Sydney Rd with such aching beauty, you can almost smell the beer emanating from the open door of the pub. His storytelling is so poetic and evocative, and yet brought back firmly down to earth, with lines like that describing a pregnant woman: “she had a gut full of the future”. Between chapters and sometimes while he is storytelling, Sam Rankin and Kathryn Langshaw sing gorgeous, bittersweet shanties which cushion the story in a dark Australiana.
If you’re looking to be carried along on a wave of imagination created by nothing more than voices weaving words and characters, the most stripped back and purest form of theatre, then Wil Greenaway is a must-see. It’s no wonder he’s become a fringe festival favourite the world over, and Melbourne should be proud to call him its own.
2017 Melbourne Fringe Festival
The Way the City Ate the Stars
Directed by Kellie Tori
Venue: Fringe Hub: Arts House - Studio 2 | 521 Queensberry St, North Melbourne VIC
Dates: 15 – 22 September 2017