Photo by Justin Van Leeuwen
The setting is intimate: a hotel room, tight for 15 to 30 people. And there is no where to hide so you wander, make small talk, eat grapes, and listen to a band playing. You still aren’t sure what you are supposed to be doing there. Scattered around the room are seemingly random objects — underwear found in the wall of a house; a pair of glasses left behind by a lover. Questions arise: What’s the story behind these objects? What are they doing here? — This has yet to be explained. Mystery builds. Then it begins.
As it turns out, this pop-up event has created a museum of found objects and we are to be the curators, revealing the items’ stories.
This was just one instance, as no two Youppi Club events are ever the same. Begun earlier this year, Youppi (French version of the English “Yippee!”) is usually held once a month, typically on Mondays, and runs for about two hours, during which you can expect the bilingual crew from the Ottawa Stilt Union theatre group — creators of Youppi — to poke fun at the norm. Maybe you will partake in a circus-like performance or be asked to BYOND (bring your own nostalgic drink), or eat grapes and listen to a band called Moonfruits.
You can choose what level to participate in, if at all. Just be sure to do yourself a favour: suspend your belief. Become a child, an actor, a musician — enjoy the wonder and take delight in whimsy. This will be the most touching and hysterical evening you’ll spend with strangers (who won’t stay strangers for long).
Details for each event are secret — revealed via social media as the date draws nearer. Seekers of merriment will want to check out the next Youppi event on Nov. 1: Day of the Dead. Wear a piece of clothing or jewelry in tribute to your favourite person among the deceased and head to Asian Alley, #8, Byward Market Square, at 7 p.m. for a very tasteful evening of solemn festivity. Admission is by suggested donation of $15 (cash only).