Jetpack Theatre Collective have taken me on some adventure-filled theatre going. I have sat with two others and a demented owl in a pea green boat on Blackwattle Bay, I’ve disrupted life in King St, I’ve snuck in after hours and stolen a painting from a gallery. It’s always inventive, exuberant and left of centre theatre making.
GHOSTS OF GLEBE is their latest foray into converting audiences into participants. If you are wandering the streets, noisy and busy yet dark and creepy streets, you have no choice but to engage.
Ostensibly just a walking tour, small groups are steered by a couple of guides around interesting spots of a suburb renowned for bad behaviour. Despite, or perhaps because of, being originally owned by the Anglican Church! The actors, for that’s what they are, do a great line in telling the history of some of the places. There are stories and characters and buildings and dates. But there is always the tension … is any of it true? Since Ancient Greek times tension begets drama and so it does here.
The tour takes about 45 minutes and if you are worried about the walking don’t be. Before I committed to attending, I had concerns about my new knee and how it would cope. In emails, Jetpack were terrifically welcoming and it was evident that encouraging and supporting all manner of patrons is paramount to their process and performance. I had a weird moment when I imagined what their planning whiteboard would have looked like. Under variables … patrons, weather, traffic, cobblestones, mosquitos, locals, 2 shows a night … bloody endless list I imagine.
Next time I experience GHOSTS OF GLEBE I intend to write down the names they throw at you, take a note of the addresses, google the dates etc . Because it is actually worth a second visit, each show must inevitably be different given all those variables. And also there are 6 performers in rotation and each pairing must bring different energies and ways of storytelling.
The storytelling did not take my imagination on first experience. It did for other members of the tour, one of the people was a wiz with seeing the patterns in the dates! But I was drawn in by the architecture, the superb trees, the historical aspects, the balmy night air, and the company of strangers. And the inherent possibility of spectral surprise.
GHOSTS OF GLEBE curated by Kirsty McGuire and Emilia Higgs continues until 11th November. More information at :