The Dead Ones
Theatre Works, Vitalstatistix, Margie Fischer
29 January 2013
to 3 February
Margie Fischer shares a brilliant response to cope with unwelcome charity phone calls: "They're all dead". But in her case, it's true. When her mother died, Margie was the last member of her immediate family and faced the responsibility of clearing her family home, of 50-plus years, of its memories and its stuff.
And her mum, Marianne, didn't throw things away.
It took Margie months to finish and she dealt with it by writing. Writing about her grandparents, parents and brother; about what their things had meant to them; about how she decided to keep or get rid of objects without losing their significance; about losing the haven of home (despite having her own family and house); and about the burden of being the holder of her family's stories.
Here Lies Henry
TurnAround Productions, Theatre Works
22 January 2013
to 27 January
Actor Matthew Hyde said that some of the best acting advice he's had is: “Grab it by the balls darling and act the shit out of it” – and he sure does so in Here Lies Henry, the second show in the Theatre Works Midsumma season.
Here Lies Henry by Canadian writer Daniel MacIvor was first produced in 1995 and first seen in Australia at the 2012 Sydney Fringe, the same production that's here for Midsumma.
You don't have to believe someone to enjoy their tales, but reviewers never lie, so don't be scared to get to Here Lies Henry before it ends on Sunday. It's intense and mad and will leave you wondering.
20 January 2013
to 3 February
Vieux Carré is one of Tennesse Williams lesser-known plays. It opened on Broadway on 30 April 1977, closed on 15 May and didn't add to the playwright's collection of Pulitzer Prizes for Drama (two) or New York Drama Critic's Circle prizes for Best American Play (four). ITCH's Midsumma production is already selling out houses and running longer than its premiere production, but it's showing why it wasn't a hit.
Set in the New Orleans French Quarter (Vieux Carré) in the late 30s, it's an autobiographical work about a young gay writer who moves into a not-so-classy boarding house filled with Williams's familiar broken characters who are mentally or physically ill, fragile, bullied or bullies, and desperately lonely.
Midsumma and Dale Splender
16 January 2013
Sumner Theatre, MTC
to 19 January
Gaybies is on its way to being an important piece of theatre that shakes up stale and dull opinions. Opening at Midsumma, it's singing show tunes with the choir, but there couldn't be better and more fabulous audience to introduce this work to.
Created by music theatre director/creator Dean Bryant, Gaybies is the first work commissioned by the Midsumma festival, which has been celebrating queer culture for 25 years. With little time and resources, Bryant explored verbatim theatre – verbatim theatre recreates interviews (The Laramie Project is one of the more famous) – and interviewed people whose voices and stories aren't always heard in the talkback radio screaming, media hoo ha and politician point scoring over what makes a family: children with one or more gay or lesbian parents.
If you've ever even thought "But what about the children?", here's the answer.
The Midsumma audiences are adoring this show, but to have the impact that it will have, it needs to get it produced, supported and seen widely. I believe that dullness and intolerance can change with truth, so what about starting with performance at a full sitting of our federal parliament?
Psycho Beach Party
Little Ones Theatre and Theatre Works
11 January 2013
to 19 January
Hot diggity! If Psycho Beach Party isn't the most hip, groovy and neat-o hit of Midsumma, then I've got no idea what people like. Full of lust, longing and psychotic shaving, it proves that you don't have to be a queen to be camp or be gay to be queer.
There's songs by the B52s on a beach made of leopard print and shiny silvery-black steamers (Owen Phillips) that's filled with a super-hot cast of dream boats and gals dressed in leopard print and black (Eugyeene Teh). Do you need to know more?
It finishes on Saturday 19; that's less than a week away and if you don't get a ticket ASAP, you'll be left like a wall flower who never took their sneakers off at the Sock Hop.