Head down, an old man shuffles with the assistance of a wheeled walking frame past the ghostly blue façade of a building. Unbeknownst to him, his dog is tangled in his own lead and is being dragged on his back through the grey streets. In the background, a traditional jazz band plays.
A man in his lounge room practices his sousaphone. A half drunk glass of beer on the table beside him. Unbeknownst to him, his playing is driving his wife to despair. She enters the room through the doorway behind him, raises her hands to her head and screams. Moments later, somewhere off camera, she slams a door causing a picture frame to fall into the fish tank below. The man keeps playing.
This pair of black-humoured vignettes of ‘ordinary people doing ordinary things’1 are from Roy Andersson’s 2007 film, You, the Living, but equally, they could be from Alice Dixon, Caroline Meaden and William McBride’s recent performance, This is What’s Happening, winner of this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival’s Best Dance.