25 March 2010

Review: My Stories Your Emails

My Stories Your Emails
Malthouse Theatre
24 March 2010
Beckett Theatre, CUB Malthouse

If it’s on the internet, it must be true. So you can believe that My Stories Your Emails has perves, minge and a big penis. And that I’m lounging in a silk negligee, dictating my review to a naked boy who's sucking my toes.
Ursula Martinez developed My Stories Your Emails after her Hanky Panky strip was filmed at a Canadian festival gala performance and found its way onto YouTube and beyond.

Many of us have seen this act at La Clique or The Burlesque Hour and, being intelligent sophisticates, we appreciate the irony, humour and gall of Hanky Panky – and love her to bits for it. Who would have thought that others could see it differently!

Turns out that some of those who don’t spend their nights at the theatre, have turned to the internet for entertainment and many have found a degree of personal pleasure in Ursula’s performance – and told her so.

And she tells us. The Your Emails half of the evening is Ursula’s reading/almost-channelling performance of some of the fan mail she received. The chosen emails are from blokes who were certain they had a bond with Ursula over her obvious sexual kinkiness or her clear adaption of a naturalist lifestyle, and were equally convinced she would be thrilled to receive their offers of work, correspondence or company. You have to wonder if these people understand that people on telly are playing pretendies.

It’s too easy to laugh at them. These are sad, deluded and generally unattractive fellows, who don’t understand the concept of performance. They probably think she keeps a silk hanky up her twat as well. But what hurts even more than laughing at their emails, is knowing they are real people, who were so misguided that they gave Ursula permission to use their photos in her show. Unlike all those who posted her video, Ursula asked. And, like the mystery of the red hanky, perhaps there is a bit of fiction and misdirection employed.

Your Emails is perfectly balanced by My Stories. Ursula’s stories are personal, short and total gems that reveal far more than a flash of her “hot, middle-aged minge” ever could. From being embarrassed by the police thinking the burglars left your house so messy (been there), to a partner loving your pet more than you (me too) and dealing with the fallibilities and death of parents (yep), Ursula leaves no doubt that she’s as normal as any of us and with the lesson that if you make cat fake poo, you deserve the consequences.

My Stories Your Emails is as brutally honest as it is jaw-dropping funny, forcing an almost-too-close-for-comfort look at our real, imagined and cyber relationships. If you trust what you read on this little patch of the internet, book your ticket now.

This review appeared on AussieTheatre.com.

For more discussion, on Thursday 1 April, Ursula joins Dr Kate Crawford, social networking and technology guru in a discussion. Info here.