If you didn't already know it, Miriam Margolyes is a force of nature. Like rain she is beautiful, playful and kind, but don't splash in the puddles without watching the sky. Like a storm she’ll suddenly pour down fierce, unapologetic and vulgar but deliciously so.

Miriam is 82 years old, with thick grey curls and a body that’s not as spritely as it used to be. But she is by no means an old lady and she never will be. Her alchemy of staying vivacious, industrious, dynamic and animated has rejected the veil that is so often slipped over our elders.

Her connection with the audience during her Q&A at the Sydney Opera House was extraordinary. They stood and cheered and called out her name as she walked on stage and it was as if she cast a web out over the crowd, connecting herself to each audience member and then weaving us all together. She talked candidly with us and joked about people who were arriving late. She found her friends who were scattered among us. She made us feel that we were all important whether we were front row or in the restricted access seats.

It was such a casual affair. Like sitting in a pub chatting to old friends. Miriam shared stories with us about her life and her friendships. Although she clearly had specific stories she wanted to tell they were not scaffolded or in any particular order. It made you feel like she really was there just for us.

There were two sign language interpreters who had the joy of expressing Miriam's passions for the world and the kindness of her heart while also having to sign the swear words and filth that tumble out with such aplomb. Their silent ciphering honoured the story telling, including them in the performance in a way I have not seen before.

At the end she read to us and I was amazed at how long it had been since I had been read to. It is always something that we strive to do for our children. But Miriam made me think it is just as precious for an adult to be able to sit back and let a story come to our heart from the lips of another.

The beauty of this show was its realness. It wasn’t polished or extravagantly staged. It had nothing to prove or shout about. It was a genuine moment in time with a talented and well loved human who can teach us so much about how to approach life, to remain human and to stay connected to this world.

Event details

Fane & Andrew Kay presents
Oh Miriam! Live
Miriam Margolyes

Venue: Concert Hall | Sydney Opera House NSW
Dates: 30 March 2024
Tickets: $149 – $69
Bookings: www.sydneyoperahouse.com

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