All posts filed under: Reviews

Review: ‘I Am My Own Wife’

A lone figure enters. She makes her way to a gramophone placed off centre stage, and talks about her fascination with it, and the other items that belong to her extensive museum of furniture and everyday objects. For the next 90 minutes, this is the only person to grace the stage, playing over 30 different characters throughout the entire performance. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play, ‘I Am My Own Wife’, by Doug Wright, made its WA premiere over the weekend at The Heath Ledger Theatre Studio Underground. Set in Germany amidst the Nazi and Communist regimes, the story follows the life German antiquarian, Charlotte von Mahsldorf, played by Brendan Hanson. Charlotte, who is plagued by memories of her late father, manages to live her life fearlessly and unapologetically as a trans person in a time and place where it was not safe to do so. As she talks about her life to an enthusiastic array of different characters, a fascinating, intricate and emotive story emerges. Sourcing items …

Moonlight: Why Intersectional Representation Matters

If you’re late to the party, Moonlight is a talented film directed by Barry Jenkins based on the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. It has received a lot of buzz since its release in late 2016, and even more so since it won Best Motion Picture at the 74th Golden Globe Awards recently, the first all black cast, queer film to do so. The soundtrack is orchestral, not something most would expect if they’re about to watch a film set in a ghetto of poverty, violence, and an inescapable drug culture. The film was shot in a unique way with a very shallow depth of field making it feel unnerving, vulnerable, and personal. This is because director Barry Jenkins is taking you on an extremely tender and genuine coming-of-age queer journey, portrayed through the main character Chiron. This film doesn’t cheapen itself by following a predictable narrative. The queer characters did not die in the film because they were queer. They were not used as a prop for the dangers of STIs or …

Movie Review – Deep Water: The Real Story

Deep Water: The Real Story is a documentary film about the gay hate crimes that plagued Sydney in the 1980s and 1990s. The hatred towards gay people and the incompetency of the NSW Police Force in this time is more than uncovered in what is an eye opening documentation of the high level of homophobia that existed in Sydney less than 30 years ago.   It’s not often that the suffering of LGBTI people takes the forefront of Australian media. However, this documentary and the crime series drama of the same name are currently making sure it does. For the first time ever, the unsolved deaths from 30 potential gay hate crimes (of 80 total, as well as thousands of assaults) are being re-examined and exposed, each in more detail than the NSW Police Force ever committed to. The NSW Police Force have admitted they may have made serious mistakes while re-examining these cases, though unfortunately never made an appearance in the documentary, not through lack of trying from the filmmakers. To set some context; …

Review – The Queen of Ireland

The Queen of Ireland is a documentary film about the life of Rory O’Neill, better known as Irish drag queen Panti Bliss. The film looks at everything from O’Neill’s life growing up gay in the small town of Ballinrobe, County Mayo, to living with HIV and his gay rights activism, particularly in the lead up to the historic marriage equality referendum in Ireland in 2015. The film is beautifully directed by Conor Horgan who, until this point, was most well known for directing the 2009 post-apocalyptic Irish drama One Hundred Mornings, the winner of many awards. After watching The Queen of Ireland though, I can’t help but feel he has reached new levels of artistic achievement, and that this film will go down as a classic in queer cinema. You see, he didn’t just lay out the facts of a story already written, he captured the honest, intelligent and quirky character that is Rory O’Neill/Panti Bliss. He showed us why Panti is a hero and an inspiration for LGBTI activists everywhere, even when, in fact …

Review: Angels in America, Part 1 Millennium Approaches

Angels in America, Part 1 Millennium Approaches, one of the most important and groundbreaking plays of the 20th century, made it’s WA premier over the weekend at the Heath Ledger Theatre in Perth. Set in 1985 New York City, the play explores the intertwining lives of those affected by HIV/AIDS amidst the AIDS crisis of the 80’s and 90’s. Prior Walter takes centre stage, diagnosed with AIDS and left by his lover Louis Ironson. Walter is then visited by an angel who brands him a prophet, tasked with saving humanity. Tony Kushner’s iconic play, Angels in America, has won many awards including the Tony Award for Best Play, twice, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It was made into a mini series in 2003 starring an array of well known names such as Al Pacino and Meryl Streep and for which it won 11 Emmy awards, a record at the time. Most importantly though, the stories told in the play depict the very realities of people who have been affected by HIV/AIDS. It’s impossible, for those …

FRINGE REVIEW: #madashell The Musical

Fringe World Perth went out with a bang this year with Dean Misdale’s show “#madashell The Musical” gracing the stage of Four5Nine Bar on Saturday and Sunday night to sold out audiences. The show, performed by Misdale’s alter ego Feminem,  brought to life YouTube series #madashell in comedy cabaret form, and was full of real life encounters and parody songs to boot. To the sound of some familiar tunes, and in sequinned attire, Feminem takes you on a journey of epic proportions, and gives insight into what makes her #madeashell; something not to be missed. After all, hell hath no fury like an angry drag queen. From singing about curious strangers who think it’s ok to touch drag queens without permission, to the finger lickin’ goodness that is KFC, there was something in there for everyone! And, to round off the performance: a costume change, some lip-syncing (what’s a drag show without it), and an all round bitch session on what made people in the audience #madashell. Feminem had the audience laughing from start to …

FRINGE REVIEW: Gender Spanner

Jessica McKerlie’s “Gender Spanner” made it’s WA premiere at Perth Fringe World  on Tuesday night at The Ellington Jazz Club. The show is part burlesque, part cabaret and 100% full of “labels that just don’t stick”, a reference you’ll understand on a whole new level if you see the performance for yourself. Inspired by McKerlie’s own explorations and understanding of gender fluidity, the show touches base on areas not often openly talked about or explored in performance pieces. Armed with a ukulele and many other props (potato and gravy anyone?), McKerlie presents an honest and empowering performance filled with thought provoking ideas and questions about what it means to be a man, a woman, or somewhere in between. Though I felt some acts didn’t flow from one to the next as well as they could have, there’s no denying the acts themselves were well thought out and entertaining on so many levels. McKerlie’s ability to hold the crowds attention, and to use their quick wit to stop mid performance to clarify any misunderstandings was hilarious, leaving …

FRINGE REVIEW: PANTS! (and other things)

Nestled in the corner of The Rosemount Hotel is Four5Nine Bar, a cosy space home to many Fringe World performances this season including Lexie McGee’s debut show; “PANTS! (and other things). I had the pleasure of going to see the show on Monday night, the third of five performances gracing the Fringe World stage, surrounded by an almost sold out crowd. Launching her self-titled debut EP, the show follows the thoughts, ideas and teachings of Lexie as she navigates her way through topics such as gender diversity, gay mermen and bowl cuts, through song and, of course, interpretive dance. The show begins with musician Maisie on stage alone with a guitar, playing the sweet introduction of the show’s first song. Lexie makes her first and very sudden appearance by bursting through the stage curtain, wide eyed and dapperly dressed, glitter and the colour red obviously key features in her outfit. The song was slow to begin, though soon picked up once the interpretive dancing kicked in, leaving the audience in fits of laughter with ever …

FRINGE REVIEW: Tom Ballard’s New Show ‘The World Keeps Happening’

Former Triple J radio presenter and all round funny guy Tom Ballard has been gracing the stage at The Gold Digger in this year’s Perth Fringe with his brand new show; ‘The World Keeps Happening’. In his show, Ballard explores the idea that everything in this world is sinister and confusing and on the verge of collapse, all whilst providing ideas on how he could potentially solve these worldly issues. He talks about feminism, terrorism, online dating and more, all topics that hold great interest and controversy to people all over the world. However, I most enjoyed when Ballard asked the audience of their excitement about Australia Day approaching. The audience replied how any audience member should at a stand up comedy show (with little enthusiasm so as not to draw attention to themselves), at which point Ballard replied “Well you shouldn’t be,” and talked about what Australia Day (ie Invasion Day/Survival Day) really represents. Preach! Ballard’s stand up performance, though controversial at times, captivated the audience from start to finish. His jokes about his …

A Review on the TransTastic Talent Showcase: An Artist’s Perspective

I was fortunate enough to be involved as a displaying artist in the inaugural TransTastic Talent Showcase in Perth last weekend. Fortunate because it was warming to the core to be surrounded by my community and by people who support my community on a night where I was there as myself. I am usually myself, flagrantly and unabashed when I can help it, but this was a whole different class of experience. To be a transgender androgyne at Connections on a night intended to celebrate the abilities and the power of the trans* and gender diverse community was an empowering experience. Inaugural because it had better not be the last time an event like that happens in Perth if I can help it. Along with my more visual artistic fellows Lex and Asher and their gorgeous creations, my work occupied that intimate corner of Connections with the soft couches. As someone who is innately a writer, there was a unique swell of pride and terror that came with watching individuals and groups negotiate their meandering …