30 September 2013

FRINGE: Unsex Me

Unsex Me
29 September 2013
Fringe Hub, Lithuanian Club, Son of Loft
to 5 October

I was one of lucky ones who had a ticket to see Unsex Me last night. On its second night of its seven-night run, there were about as many people turned away at the door as were squeezed into the very intimate theatre.  

It was also a show that left me in the Lithuanian Club bar drinking Krupnikas in a conversation about gender, art, sex, the safety of the theatre space, safe sex, drag, homosexuality, penetration, ATM, child abuse and pain that ultimately left me knowing that I really don't want to understand why I love this show so much and wondering what kind of sick fuck am I for seeing it a second time.

Earlier in the year I saw a run of this show before it went to the Adelaide Fringe and I ended up squealing in the foetal position on a brown velvet armchair. Last night, I was on a plastic chair squeezed between friends and at an eye-level angle to its writer and performer – Mark Wilson (the guy with the chicken in the recent sold-out-with-extra-shows Mein Kampf ) – that left me knowing things about him that I'm not sure that I should know.  

Actress (and this is the only time I will ever use the ridiculous feminised version of actor) Mark Wilson is being interviewed about his recent Academy Award, his relationship with Australia's best-looking actor dude, and what it's like to play Lady Macbeth with your partner as Macbeth and your Aussie-legend dad as director. Mark's drag is immaculate, but there are some physical hints that he's a man.

And that's all I can describe because anything further will get me near the top of Google search page that really isn't my readers.

It is sexually explicit.*

It is glorious.

It's confronting and depraved and created with a mix of joy and pain that leaves you hurting from laughter because it's so freaking funny and because it's so cruel that it takes you beyond any sense of shock or empathy into a space where the only choice is laughter or burying your head in your hands and hoping to wake up safely in front of your TV in time for Packed to the Rafters.

Wilson equally thrills and horrifies as the line between self-mockery and soul-bearing truth is too hard to find, which leaves it as theatre that's impossible to walk away from and forget.

There are only five performances left and the venue is small. It's not worth taking your chances at the door, so book now and make sure you include time for a post-show debrief and a shot or two of Krupnikas (the Lithuanian honey liqueur).

*I don't want to give anything away, but if you like your theatre nice, there are plenty of other gorgeous Fringe shows to see.