Thursday 14 January 2016

The Ultimate Lesbian Double Feature - Midsumma Festival preview

There are not many people who can say they've never sexted before, the fine art of texting and being sexual at the same time. It's a practise that has only been around a few decades, but had it been available 200 years ago or even 100 years ago, how would relationships have been different? This is just one story being performed as part of The Ultimate Lesbian Double Feature during the Midsumma Festival.

In Love in the Time of Sexting, playwright Zoe Brinnand imagines a world where Emily Dickinson didn't write letters to Susan Gilbert and Virginia Wolf's letters to Vita Sackville-West never existed. Instead, Brinnand explores how this intimacy would have been created and maintained through the use of mobile phones and sexting. "I hope that this play encourages more lesbians to loosen up about sex," Brinnand laughs. "And to sext more! Sexting can be funny, and should be fun."

In the second of the double feature, Brinnand employs a 1950s American instructional videos style on how to prepare the perfect dinner, with a lesbian twist of course. "The Party is another comedy that turns tradition on its pretty little head. What if homosexuality had been mainstream in the 1950s? It would have thrown the perfect dinner party, of course! The main character, The Fairy Butch Mother, is actually based on Big Boo from Orange Is The New Black so it was a lot of fun to write! From party favours to games, your Fairy Butch Mother has it covered!" Brinnand explains. "I watched a lot of 1950s instructional videos in preparation and the creepiest one was a 1950's anti-homosexual PSA on how to identify and stay away from homosexuals."

The cast of seven has been crucial to Brinnand bringing these two stories to life. "We asked a few people we knew to audition and put out a general call on a few acting Facebook pages. One girl looked at the script and freaked out and left, I think it was too sexual for her," she recalls. "The cast has come from different performing arts backgrounds and not everyone is gay/lesbian or female for that matter. They also range in age from sweet baby Joseph (Lai) who is 19 to the amazing Kristina (Benton) who has a few more years experience in the performance arena, so they are all able to bring unique perspectives to their characters. They have all just been a great support to me in my first production."

Sadly, The Ultimate Lesbian Double Feature has completely sold out in Melbourne, even with two additional shows added, so
if you're thinking of buying tickets, you'll need to add an airfare and go see their Sydney season during Mardi Gras. The strong sales and chatter about this show have already inspired Brinnand to continue writing and is currently working on two plays for Midsumma Festival in 2017. "It's pretty amazing! This is the first play I've ever written, it's insane. I had no idea it would be this popular but it's given me so much encouragement to keep going. Clearly, there just isn't enough lesbian comedic theatre out there. Plenty of well told tragic stories, but we all need a laugh!"

Venue: La Mama Theatre, 205 Faraday St, Carlton
Season: 5 - 7 February | Fri - Sat 6.30pm, Sat - Sun 4.30pm

Tickets: $25 Full | $15 Conc
Bookings: SOLD OUT