Nicole Ratjen was deluged with ping-pong balls while performing the last minute-or-so of a new work.
“Brings me back to ping-pong camp,” one person gently mused.
First up that night was Andy Cockburn, known previously for humourous sexual poetry, reading a story he had written.
Mr. Cockburn said that the story, which he intended for children, came to him originally as a nightmare while taking chloroquine, an antimalarial drug.
Teodoro Dragonieri proffered a lecture on the history of masks next. Or at least attempted to; a heckling clown interrupted.
Unlike most heckling clowns who are just drunk, this one, named Mr. Kazoo, was wearing a red nose and white face paint.
Ms. Ratjen’s work, which followed an intermission, and was co-performed with Andrew Gaboury, was a scene between two polar bears. Ms. Ratjen’s bear was the more anxious and innocent of the two. Mr. Gaboury’s had a more rational demeanour – calculating, for example, the amount of time the two of them had left to live on a small iceberg they were floating on.
Ms. Ratjen circulated a canvas bag filled with ping-pong balls before the scene began. With cues provided to the audience by Mr. Double – “I’m going to go like this,” he said, throwing one hand in the air à la Braveheart, “and go, YAAA” – the two performers were pelted by plastic hailstorms during their reading.
Dave Borins took the stage after, with his shiny – “I just noticed I’m glaring people in the audience” – acoustic guitar.
“Anyone who gets one in the guitar,” Mr. Borins said, flashing a smile, referring to any props leftover from the previous work, “gets a prize.”
Mr. Borins’ easy lyrics, toe-tapping guitar melodies, and happy-go-lucky style, seemed to make him a crowd favourite.
I had heard Mr. Borins play at a previous Sea Change, and the first time I just remember how loud – his voice is huge because, he says, he spends a lot of time in the woods – and funny he was. This time, I was far more impressed by his guitar work, which seemed more articulate than before.
This was just my second time going to Sea Change. But when I got to the old coach house where it was held, I showed my friend around the place as though I had been there a dozen times.
As I’ve mentioned before, it’s an exceptionally warm and comforting vibe at Sea Change. Mr. Double and Mr. Nish-Lopidus have a naturally humourous style of hosting and I felt as though I were at home.
It’s a superb environment for an artist testing out new material and I always find it a genuine pleasure to attend.
The next Sea Change comes up in three months or so.