I occassionally like to pretend that I am cultured. I will drink red wine...from a glass and eat cheese that isn't vacu-sealed in plastic slices...and every now and then I will go to the theatre.
Last week a flurry of facebook algorithms alerted me to the fact that there was a one man stage production called I am Pilgrim, showing for one night only, in the cold windy city of Wellington. I checked my social calendar and found that I was unsurprisingly available that Saturday night, so I put on a clean shirt and went to town.
I was surprised to enter a packed theatre, with a few hundred excited potential pilgrims, waiting to be entertained by one man's tale of life, love and blisters. Alan Lovell is an Australian actor who, among other things, starred alongside Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible...one of the many anecdotes he shared. It's a true skill to be able to stand in front of an audience and entertain them...but to do it for 2 hours is incredible.
Ultimately, I am Pilgrim is a love story...wrapped in some good humour with a few bad jokes thrown in for good measure with a soft mushy heart. It is a story about how the journey across the Camino Alan took with his partner Susan, eventually brought a deeper understanding of himself and the difficulties in their relationship. Somehow, as with many of us, the struggles during the Camino, and perhaps the space away from our regular lives, gives us a different perspective on the things we see every day.
It is perhaps the most important lesson from the journey.
Spoiler alert...Alan and Susan had a commitment ceremony in Finisterre, to cement their journey across Spain and through life. It was an entertaining production and it felt weird to see other peoples stories on the same path that i had walked 3 years prior, and different perspectives on similar ground.
If Alan tours with this show again, I highly recommend going.