Monday 14 September 2015

Christopher Doesn't Live Here Anymore by Christopher Welldon - Melbourne Fringe Festival preview

Everyone hate's moving house. The need to pack everything you own into boxes and then transporting it all to the new house. And then there's the unpacking and making everything feel just right. I thought I had it bad having moved 7 times in the last five years, but in his debut show, Chroistopher Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Christopher Welldon shares his story of how he moved house an epic 60 times in 34 years.

Welldon came up with the idea—one story from every address he’s lived at—in 2011, when there were still only 57 addresses.  "This is my first show. On one hand this has helped with its creation, because I have had absolutely no idea what I am doing. I don't know the process, or the right ways/wrong ways to do stuff. I've just blundered through, hammering up an eight-ish thousand word monologue and hoping it goes for an hour. I also learnt that the more traumatic an event from my childhood is, the more comedy I can wring from it. It's perverse!" He explains. "But it's also been really daunting. Luckily my director, Daniel Lammin, has pulled double duty as a script editor, and together we've crafted a solid, cohesive story.

Welldon only recently accepted his status as a serial mover, while living in his last house. "I was aware that I had been a serial mover. I knew it was definitely part of my life, and that I had, sometimes, contributed to it. But when I moved into the place I am living now, everything immediately went crazy: I moved in with a couple, they'd been together ten years, who broke up one day later! She started dating someone else with the same name as her ex and now we ALL live together. That's when I knew: no matter what I do, whether I try or not, this crazy stuff will happen to me."

Experiences and stories like that are just the tip of the iceberg for Welldon and all of his housemates however. "I was way more afraid when I was writing the blog (Christopher Doesn't Live Here Anymore), because I went into way more detail about them there. I seem to have come away from that relatively unscathed, so this show is a cakewalk by comparison," he says. "But I do mention some people in the show—my mum, my sister, an ex boyfriend, my current housemates—and they've all booked tickets, so now that I think about it...yes I'm a little concerned. I will stock up on apology cards and bunches of flowers now."

Despite the show being a constant stream of why things didn't work out, Welldon insist there is a positive message in the show to be had. "The overarching message is positive and helpful and almost Oprah-y. Gross, right? I want people to come away from my show feeling good about their own baggage. We've all either done some batshit crazy stuff, or had batshit crazy stuff happen to us, and by turning mine into comedy fodder I hope to give people a new way to look at their own crappy histories" he explains. "That aside, I want people to laugh at me. WITH. I MEAN WITH. With me. Laugh with me."

Venue: Fringe HubArts House, 521 Queensberry St, North Melbourne, 3051
Season: 18 - 25 September | Tues-Sat 10.15pm, Sun 9.15pm
Tickets:$25 Full | $20 Cheap Tuesday

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