SIARAD: Middle-Aged Virgin Prepares for Fringe

When I was planning SIARAD, my debut collection of poetry and prose, I wanted two things: a book that crossed boundaries and a beautiful work of art. Luckily for me, I found the people who made that happen. Bettina Kaiser art+design and the Spineless Wonders crew created a gorgeous work of art with a beautiful aesthetic. Kerryn Goldsworthy noted in the Sydney Morning Herald that "the design and illustrations are a precise fit with both the form and content of Reid's text."  

And what of crossing boundaries? When the book went to print I had a vague notion that I’d like to record SIARAD as an Audiobook, and ‘wouldn’t mind’ doing it as a show. Possibly at Adelaide Fringe in 2022, I thought. Then Covid-19 invaded our world. A stressful time, to say the least. However, during lockdown I was able to use a Covid Support Grant from the South Australian government to make the Audiobook I’d been dreaming of. This is great! I thought. My book has crossed over from print into audio. Then in December last year I was at an event where someone challenged me to present SIARAD at Fringe in 2021. So soon? I said. Why not? they said, you have the material. True, I said, I have more than enough material; I’d have to make choices about which pieces to include and which to excldue. I then went on to list every excuse I could think of as to why I could not possibly do a Fringe show in 2021. Okay, they said, it’s up to you. I went home, got over myself, and registered for Adelaide Fringe 2021.

And here I am, a middle-aged Fringe virgin preparing her first solo show! My book is crossing boundaries and so am I. It’s as if the book is holding my hand, gently steering me in the direction I need to go. You can listen to my radio interview with Tara Lee Nash on Jan 23rd at Radio Adelaide’s Arts Breakfast  (it's a 2 hour arts program, I'm on at 10.30am). We talk about the kind of show SIARAD is, who it might appeal to and the wonder and beauty of presenting my work in multiple forms.

There are going to be some challenges. Like whether or not my co-performer, musician and audio engineer Jeffrey Zhang, will be able to travel from NSW to do the show live or if he’ll be presenting remotely. Another Covid Challenge is that there will be a very limited seating capacity. We’re only doing 3 shows so blink and you’ll miss it! Dates are March 11, 12 and 13 at Studio 166, Goodwood Theatre & Studios, Goodwood Road. You can secure your tickets at Fringe Tix.

If you like, you can order your copies of SIARAD the Audiobook or SIARAD the print book before you come to the show. These sales help me fund the show, plus you get to play the fun game of guessing which stories and poems I’m going to perform. Yes, interactive theatre! :)

I’m going to write a Sunday blog post every week until the show opens to keep you up to date with how things are going and what I’m learning. But for now it's back to the script. This is the week I decide once and for all which pieces are going to be in the show, and which pieces I have to let go. Did someone mention challenges? 

Caroline x