March 14, 2017

Escaped Alone

Escaped Alone won Best Play at the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Awards but I couldn't tell you why. Four excellent actresses play women of a certain age sitting in a garden talking about life and quietly revealing their inner selves.

The setting was excellent. It took a little while for the actresses to warm into their roles so their lines landed on top of each other like they were meant to. There were flashes of interest and a couple of laughs but overall it was confusing and boring. The program doesn't enlighten on the storyline which makes sense as there doesn't appear to be one. I understand a play can exist with out a specific point but it should still be entertaining, this was merely frustrating.

As I walked through the foyer I was pleased to hear other audience members were equally confused. A woman said "well it wasn't to my taste." I couldn't agree more.

March 1, 2017

Gender Spanner

Gryphon Theatre
Monday 20th February 2017

Jessica McKerlie will croon of the heartbreak of parting from her beautiful transgender lover overseas, then have you in fits of laughter as you gasp at how she can have 3 dinner plates spinning on top of fake sunflower stalks, spraying a hazardous stream of real live gravy all over the stage!  If you think that is messy, try a popping out a plush uterus dripping with blood and having a sing-a-long with that too!  All at the expense of the both ridiculous and hard-won labels we collect throughout our social and biological lives.

The performer’s run-away-and-join-the-circus roots shine through in every theatrical number, interspersed with heartfelt reflection on what it is to love, and be loved, and have a body that you did not choose, but through which you can experience and express these states.  A high degree of music and dance experience makes this a stand-out Fringe selection – right down to the percussive effect of heels on the floorboards as savs on toothpicks are offered to the audience in a parody of housewifeyness.  But let’s not spoil all the surprises!  Every costume is a creative marvel, and the transitions often take place centre-stage, in allusion to cabaret, but with much more distinctiveness.  This is a wondrous journey into which everyone is welcomed!

If you miss that Portishead song you used to play all day, or haven’t heard a good cover of Bad Blood in a while, then let the Gender Spanner crank up your night in an Australasian town near you!