Come one, come all!
We descended down the stairs of the Bard’s Apothecary in Melbourne. Fitting name, fitting cocktails. Theatre with a tarot reading is an appealing concept. I haven’t stumbled into a reading in years, but before Tattle Tales starts, performer (and founder of Ponydog Productions) Davey Seagle gives my friend and I a tarot reading with half a deck (but magic is magic, you see). For true believers, it’s a damn good reading. For the sceptic, half the deck sits candlelit a table away.
It’s cosy down below, and Seagle is an excellent storyteller who expertly sets the mood for the evening. It’s a little mysterious, quite fun, and at the same time surprisingly relaxing for an immersive show. That’s largely the doing of Seagle’s respectful approach, which in turn sparks engagement with the more introverted among us.
Weaving the audience together into groups, we’re choosing our fate and adventure for the next 60 minutes. Everyone politely urges a member of each group to choose the group’s fate and select a tarot card at different points. Each night is a new group, new reading and new storyline. We fall into classical storylines quite easily, but sometimes you need to spice things up. I offer a thumbs down (quite the anti-hero) and the audience gasps. What have I done? Well, the group behind us with the Sun card are feeling suddenly vengeful. And that’s the magic of it. Each group brings the unexpected, and Seagle is a magical facilitator with a wise voice to guide us along.
Ponydog Productions (Hotel Bella Luna) is based in Sydney, and is a relatively new immersive theatre company. Tattle Tales, created by Seagle and Lachlan Ruffy, is their first show in Victoria as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival… but something in the cards tells me it won’t be thier last.
Tattle Tales played at the Bard’s Apothecary as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival
Photo by Aaron Cornelius