A desert is much like your mind. It is vast and open, anything buried in the sand can be revealed after a storm, and no matter how hard you may try, you cannot hide there forever.
You Can’t Hide in the Desert is a pre-recorded trilogy of Tracy Crisp’s plays made in collaboration with Hartstone-Kitney Productions. The trilogy includes the play’s Pearls, The Forgettory, and I Made and Adult. Each performance is tied together with heartfelt stories of family, secrets and memory, told through beautifully written and descriptive monologues.
All three performances come together for a total runtime of two hours and thirty minutes, with none individually exceeding fifty-five minutes total. They were filmed in January of 2022 in front of live audiences, though were first staged in 2018, 2019 and 2021 respectively. The editing and cinematography of the performances are all simple and used to great effect when focusing on close-ups of Tracy’s face.
Each play focuses on different members of Tracy’s family, though as they equally draw from the same source material of her life, they all share interlaced stories.
Pearls follows Tracy’s recount of her late mother, her pearl necklace, and the childhood memories of a woman she looked up to and still admires, regardless of her flaws. This play gives the impression of an older family member telling you their history and childhood memories in the loungeroom, while they knit well into the late evening. These poetically spoken stories are told on a simple stage, with only a chair and small table.
The Forgettory is named after her grandfather’s dementia, a place where questions constantly cycle but there are no answers. In this play, Tracy focuses on the broader notion of memories, the things we try desperately to remember and those that slip us by, and how details to stories are changed and lost over time along side the people that remember them. The many lamps on stage set the mood of the stories, lighting and darkening with each tale, and turning off completely when a new setting and topic is introduced.
I Made an Adult looks to Tracy’s life as a mother, her children, and the memories they share. Set in her kitchen as she makes her youngest son’s 18th birthday cake, Tracy reminisces and questions her past. Ingeniously, family photos are projected onto the ‘kitchen’ tables’ tablecloth to enhance her stories. This is the first play that is not completely a monologue, as Tracy’s Husband has a short speaking role near the beginning.
Streamed on demand via Black Box Live, you have the ability to watch any and all of the plays however much you please, before the Fringe season ends. It is possible to watch the plays from your TV, either via a smart device or regular HDMI to a laptop.
The magic of the theatre is not stolen away by watching a recording, and the raw emotions they revel in are not decreased.
So, go on over to Black Box Live and give Tracy Crisp’s incredible performances a watch while you still can. It is more than worth it.