I didn’t really know what to expect from La Boite’s Open Homes program.
The premise is this: meet in a public spot, visit the home of a regular Brisbanite and hear their story.
Stepping into the house of a stranger, with a bunch of other strangers, could be many things…voyeuristic, fun, weird, cramped – who knows!
I’m glad to report that my experience of Open Homes was fabulous!
At “Rennie’s Mansion” we met Dee, Rennie and Oscar – a creative family who likes to collect things.
Their Queenslander cottage was adorned with many objects indeed.
What I loved was not only the story of collecting such objects, but how many of the items were being used – Rennie’s Mansion is far from a museum, it’s a living, breathing house where everyone is made to feel welcome.
My favourite moment was when they told us that they didn’t mind when glasses got smashed or something was broken; it wasn’t about preserving objects, it was about using them and sharing them with family, friends, loved ones and even strangers.
Open Homes is a lovely piece of theatre, if one cares to designate it as such (there’s absolutely no fourth wall here!).
It’s intimate and sweet; it took me back to my uni days turning up at a house party and hanging out in the kitchen with the parents of whoever’s party it was asking them questions about their lives (I clearly wasn’t a raging teenager).
Most of all, Open Homes, makes you consider what’s going on behind the doors of houses and apartments all around town.
“Rennie’s Mansion” was one story among a town of millions.
Be curious. Step into someone else’s world, even if just for one night.