Sunday 22 July 2018

Highness review

Melanie Jame Wolf's returns to Arts House with Highness, the second of three parts in her exploration on what it means to be a woman while looking at three distinct archetypes: the Whore, the Queen and the Hag. The first, Mira Fuchs (2016), was an engaging and intimate piece that focused on Wolf's time as a stripper with thoughts and discussion raised on issues such as gender, sexuality, desire and stigma. In Highness, Wolf looks at the women who have been in her life, the Queens, and what it means to wear a crown.

While Mira Fuchs expressed its ideas in an engaging and immersive atmosphere, the same cannot be said for Highness, which gets stuck in repetitive acts being performed on stage and little semblance of any narrative or structure. There were no statements or questions being asked of the audience and while there were moments where it seemed like Wolf was about to put something out there, the scene dragged on to a fizzling conclusion.

Prehistoric review

Brisbane's punk music scene vividly comes to life in a return season of Elbow Room's critically acclaimed Prehistoric. Set against the backdrop of the corrupt Bjelke-Petersen government in 1979, Prehistoric is more than just a play about four young people coming together to create a punk band. It's a rousing production about having the freedom to make our own choices and fighting to ensure that everyone can feel safe in their own community. 

The performances by Brigid Gallacher, Grace Cummings, Sahil Saluja, and Zachary Giles Pidd are electric, as they deliver sharply authentic portrayals of Deb, Rachel, Nick and Pete. They convey their vulnerabilities and angsts while simultaneously showing the resilience and rage that is boiling inside them. The four work exceptionally well as an ensemble and in their individual scenes, creating some deeply affecting moments.