Take Your Medicine

Medicinal Sunday, The Front, Sunday 26th July, 2009

by Alice Russel-Wallace

Sunday evenings are apt to become lost in a maelstrom of organisation and regret: between backwards glances to the weekend past and dubious anticipation of the week ahead, the quiet time that is Sunday soir can get lost. Wouldn’t it be lovely if there were a tonic for this? If some traveling medicine man could provide a cure for your aching head and a salve for your overwrought nerves?

Roll up, roll up, ladies and gentlemen. Lookee see what I have here. For you, yes you Sir with the impending deadline. A dose of my fine Medicinal Sunday Patent-Pending Cure-All Tonic will do you the world of good! And you, Ma’am, with the dark eyes that speak of a stomach churning thanks to yesterday’s hangover and tomorrow’s 8am meeting. I guarantee that a tablespoon of this will get you bright and bushy tailed before Basil Brush can say “Boom Boom”. Yes indeedy, my fine tonic, Medicinal Sunday, will unfurrow that brow and throw your cares out the window. Step right up, ladies and gents, to skip your way back out into your world…

But this is Canberra, and in these parts that medicine man is known as Min Mae. On Sunday she soothed our collective brows with Medicinal Sunday, a tonic comprising in equal parts the talents of The Brothers Grim and the Blue Murders, Alice Cottee and Fifi Noir.

The Front is always an intimate venue, but on Sunday last it became a place to publicly discuss your ailments with a medical staff who displayed their qualifications with gusto. A travelling anatomy show demonstrated just how to dissect a teddy bear, and to extract its beating heart. And then there was the psychotherapy provided by the musical practicioners of the evening. They took my soul and sent it back to me better and brighter.

A highlight would have to be the Brothers Grim frontman’s a cappella tribute to his parents, however the night was something so special that it is impossible to extract one component out for examination without continuing ad infinitum. Suffice to say that I hope, for your sake, that you were there. I have just returned from living in California and I can say without doubt that we have something very special in Canberra: a vibrant arts community that will perform come hell or high water.

When I left Canberra, I expected that events similar to Medicinal Sunday would fill my weeks, however, there was nothing – and I mean NOTHING – that could compare. My evening of treatment at the hands of Min Mae consisted of moments of sheer delight at the incredible community we have here, due to the efforts of a key cohort of artistes. Doctor thanks for the cure, I’ll always enjoy visiting.

P.S. The nurse gave me a lollypop.

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