It was all a bit of a weird week. Since arriving back in Brisbane I had started to fill up my diary with little blue tags (indicates “show to see”) and the Fringe invites were coming thick and fast – and opening night invites to Fringe shows popping up in my in box the night before. Research and calculation ensued. I had to try and sort out what I was seeing where and when, with whom and why – did I know them? Is this a friends show? Is it a new Australian play? Is it something I might learn from or enjoy? Dismayed at the thought of missing out on so much due to limited time and logistics it was by chance that a reminder email encouraged me to take a second look at my schedule and see if I could fit in Cut Snake by Paige Rattray’s new and exciting company, Arthur.

When I arrive at the theatre, there is huge gratitude when I release my spare ticket – there are punters waiting nervously like horses to purchase. I settle myself in the foyer and have to double check my ticket when 9.30pm arrives – which theatre am I in. In the forecourt. Oh no I thought – I remembered leaving my coat in the car… and now it’s too late… We are heralded by a woman in a fabulously sparkly jacket waving a glittered sign saying “CUT SNAKE”… We huddle in an uncertain U-shape around her – a friendly and practical start to the night – it is a cool night and a young girl in shorts is offered a crochetted rug – she gratefully takes it. The woman tells us she is taking us to a secret location and to be aware that there are steps and uneven surfaces to contend with.

We are a troupe of unsuspecting spectators, perambulating along the pebbled concrete. Finally we are lead to a grassy oasis hidden amongst the concrete structures – a duet of performers sit on a large rock. The audience space marked by a series of picnic blankets. We nestle together, under and on blankets. The performance space illuminated by a hem of lights.

Before you can really guess we launch into a beautiful dance, by a beautiful woman and her glove-puppet snake… there is a story of three friends, of their childhood and their friendship and their wild imagination and their desire for adventure. The story spans a lifetime – but focuses on a moment in time when a horrible bus crash changes the lives and fates of their adventures. Now, I hate spoilers – so I don’t think it fair to any audience to have the choice lines or plot points recounted to them in reviews – and the story is far too clever and beautiful to be done justice to here. But the story is told by three amazing performers -all tumblers and musicians and singers and acrobatic – the transcend time and gender and expectation.

Sometimes you need to hear a good story, told well – and Cut Snake was exactly that, exactly what I needed. Funny, fun, fast, inventive, entertaining and poignant… and with some of life’s burning questions such as who would win in a battle between a horse and a hippo?

It was the second last night of the show when I saw it in Sydney – I sat and I laughed and delighted and marvelled at the tale and the inventiveness – I delighted in the story’s many twists and turns – I was transfixed and delighted and transported. After I finished applauding, I left quietly, alone… and drove home, warmed by the story and forgetting about my coat.

When I went home I emailed and facebooked my Melbourne friends and relatives urging them to check it out at The Fringe… And if you can check it out again – if it makes it’s way back into a grass knoll in Sydney, I suggest you check it out.

Sometimes you need to hear a good story, told well.

Thank you Catherine Davies, Amelia Evans, Dan Giovannoni, Tom Hogan, Kevin Keirnan-Molloy and Paige Rattray. I needed that.