I don’t have a book to write about so I’m going to talk about my weekend. There is relevance to books. It was really busy and despite one good night’s sleep I’m looking forward to more sleep tonight. The two things I want to talk about are a play we saw on Saturday night and a mini con on Sunday.

CPP Theatre Company have won my heart. They’re in the middle of a production of the stage adaptation of the book Mort by Terry Pratchett. This is their third attempt at staging this production, they’ve been stymied by Covid on two previous occasions. I had tickets for their previous attempts, I’m really glad I stayed the course. Mort is the story of how Death employs an apprentice. There are a couple of difficulties with this story and I felt they dealt with them very nicely. Death is meant to be about seven foot tall, and the actor made himself some platform shoes to take him above everyone else. He also talks all in capitals and they managed to make that work well too. It was a little more than just having him speak everything in a low voice, I enjoyed that.

Talking about the things I loved about it doesn’t detract from everything else, it’s more a highlight of some things I felt were a cut above. Or possibly the things I liked more. I’m not a professional play critic. The man who played the Wizard Cutwell had me totally convinced. I adored the door knocker! The lady playing Isabelle did such a good job. I was positive they had a large cast, but during the applause at the end I was flummoxed to find they must have had no more than half a dozen people on stage at any time. There were a couple of people who I could tell they were playing multiple parts because of their physique or their beard, but the rest did such a good job I was fooled. The costumes were beautiful. I wanted to bring some of their props home, pity I have no room.

For an amateur production it was very professional. They still have three more dates to go. If you can make it I suggest you do, well worth the late night. To make it easier here’s their website.

So, a late night on Saturday meant I didn’t hear my alarm on Sunday. My Travelling Companion woke me at 7am asking me if I was meant to leave home at 7:30! I left home only five minutes late by skipping breakfast. I took my tablets before I left and grabbed the quinoa salad and fruit from the fridge. I figured the venue would have coffee for me to buy. Hours later I’d had two coffees and some food but my energy was lagging somewhere in another universe.

When I signed the Victorian Discworld Klatch up for a table at ComiXpo I knew I’d be by myself for the afternoon. Most of my team was unable to be with me. Heath put himself down for the morning and he arrived at the venue only minutes after me, but he had to be somewhere else for the afternoon. I was relying on the fact that there would be other fan tables there who would offer me help in packing up. I was not disappointed. I had offers of help from both of the tables with me in the foyer and the organisers themselves.

ComiXpo is a wonderful little mini con. They’re super nice people who took my last minute request for a table in their stride. The focus of this mini con is Comics. When you attend you know there will be people selling comics, people selling collectables based around the comics. There will be people cosplaying their favourite character, some going to great lengths and some not. We had a few people outside of the building creating content for their Tik Tok accounts. I don’t think there are any fan clubs for the comics themselves, so the rest of us requested tables. The Doctor Who Club of Victoria were inside, that meant I was able to pass on the book I’d been holding for their President. And the USS Southern Cross were in the foyer with us and also Muscular Dystrophy Australia. I also had a book for the President of the USS Southern Cross so welcomed the chance to slip it onto their table and see when he’d notice. It was nice to pass on two books to willing vic readers. It was a great day and when it came time to pack up I really only accepted help for one little area, my hands are just not strong enough to pull things apart.

Something that happened a few years ago was the Intergalactic Fan Clubs. We’re just a group of fan clubs from a number of different fan clubs around Melbourne who became friends. We keep each other informed about what mini cons we’re doing. After the mini con is over we tend to go to a pub or a restaurant and have a meal together. Rather than crying wolf I cried exhaustion and came home to lie down. But it’s lovely to sit down with friends after a day talking to other people and just debrief or catch up. I haven’t seen these people since February 2020.

Talking to one other other stallholders afterwards I heard something I’ve heard about all of these mini cons. Most of these stallholders also attend markets and so they know how things work. But the mini cons are different, the organisers are what makes the difference. This man tells me doing the ComiXpo yesterday was much better than markets. I didn’t ask his details but I understood.

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Suzie Eisfelder

Suzie has been writing about books since 2009. She continues to write about books, writing, book shops, conventions and whatever other book related things come to hand. There is a distinct possibility she will die with a book in her hand.

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