Wednesday 30 January 2019

The Butch Monologues - Midsumma Festival review

Butch. A butch woman. A woman who has masculine traits, behaviours and styles. For The Butch Monologues, playwright Laura Bridgeman interviewed numerous butch-identifying women living in America, the UK, Europe and the Caribbean. There are currently over 100 entries in The Butch Monologues, and 54 of these have been selected for the Melbourne premiere of this show to be read out by five members of the Melbourne queer community, some with little or no stage experience.

The stage is bare except for one chair and a small round table, but once Fiona Jones, Anne Harris, Quinn Eades, Jax Jacki Brown and Jacques De Vere appear on stage, it becomes filled with the lives and personalities of the people whose stories are being shared. While the topics and themes that are raised vary from being humourous to affecting to profound, they all work towards highlighting the trials of butch identity and politics.

Sunday 27 January 2019

The Miss Behave Gameshow - Midsumma Festival review

There's a strong sense of excitement running through the audience as we take our seats for The Miss Behave Gameshow. All the way from Las Vegas, this part game show part variety entertainment leaves us all wondering what we are in for. Right up until the very end it's constant surprises and a little bit of shock. After all, how many shows do you go to where your sock ends up around a man's cock?

Miss Behave (Amy Saunders) is a standout as our host and ensures everything runs as smoothly as can be in a show where nothing can be planned. While there's a structure present, due to the heavy involvement of audience participation, responses and reactions are always going to be unexpected and on the evening I attended, Miss Behave ended up in a brilliant pash with an audience member which she took in her stride. Her glamorous and heavily tattooed assistant Tiffany (Bret Pfister), dressed in a tight safari shirt and shorts, brings playful cheekiness to the proceedings and also delights the audience in showing her flexibility and appreciation for Britney Spears.

Friday 25 January 2019

Father Figure - Midsumma Festival review

Appearing from back stage in a sparkling sequenced black suit cabaret artist Andy Johnston immediately gets into his George Michael homage with "I'm Your Man". Presented as part of the Midsumma Festival, Father Figure explores how Michael's music influenced and shaped Johnston's perspective on life.

From a musical performance perspective, Johnston delivers the goods. Not only does his voice give a unique sound to Michael's music but his body language and movements show how in tune he is to the songs with impressive renditions of "Freedom" "Father Figure" and Queen's "Somebody To Love", one of Michael's favourite songs.

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Truly Madly Britney - Midsumma Festival review

An outrageous look at obsession and pop culture, Truly Madly Britney follows a gay couple and their dreams of experiencing a life changing meet-and-greet with their idol Britney Spears at her residency in Las Vegas. Sadly, a sprained ankle puts the kibosh on said dream but hell hath no fury like two gay men denied access to Britney and the two scheme and plot a way to change their luck.

Adam and Steve (Nick Clark and Adam Garner) have spent a good chunk of their savings to get up close and personal with Britney and their rage is understandable, particularly as their income is earned working as a barista and a retail assistant. While staying in Vegas, the couple meet a gun-toting closeted gay man (Alex Thew), an egotistical woman who'll do anything to meet Britney, and her gay son who is dying from brain cancer (Louisa Wall and Karl Richmond).

Friday 18 January 2019

Dis-Connected review

In Dis-Connected, physical performer Hyperion Nyx explores the difficulties of being true to yourself when you are constantly faced with barriers preventing you from being able to be free with who you really are. 

The sound design is highly evocative in this production highlighting both the loneliness and isolation that Hyperion Nyx feels along with the confusion and conflicting thoughts they are experiencing. The sound remains a constant strength in a show that otherwise uses too many devices to tell this story that unfortunately never seem to support each other. The projections on the back curtain are too dark to clearly see and are only briefly used at the beginning of the show with no clear purpose. Halfway through the piece, we hear a pre-recorded voice that comes across as too detached and emotionless that is contrast to the thoughts that being share with the audience.