By Leeor Adar
How dare we, or you, or anyone, be politically incorrect (PC is very in, in case you weren’t paying attention). Lee Lewis’ romp as director into taboo territory is loud, colourful, slapstick, and rainbow-shoots dance hits of the bygones. This production of The Homosexuals is everything you would expect it to be, and then a little more sardonic.
And it is funny. The shining light of this show isn’t the performers so much as their sharp dialogue catapulted from Declan Greene’s pen. I can see the delivery only sharpening as the season goes on, and like Greene’s usual work, is so right now. Right now, and reflected in the play is the war between white homosexual men and other sexual and racial minorities that continue to be marginalised by cookie-cutter ideals. It rages in this production, and offers a farcical gaze upon the pompous rhetoric of queer theorist ‘Bae-Bae’ (played with natural grace and disdain by the genderqueer Mama Alto).
The play is set in a tiny modern apartment in Darlinghurst where Warren (Simon Bourke), the identified ‘older gay gentleman’ looks through his lens at the young and chiselled Adonis (Lincoln Younes). Clichés aside, Warren attempts to hide his interest in the Adonis from his shrieky partner, Kim (Simon Corfield). Cue the realisation that married paradise does not exist even for the queer community. What is meant to be the night of the Mardi-Gras and offensive costume party (hint: blackface/Hiroshimaface/Naziface), turns into a comedy of near-misses as a druggie and part-time cook (Mama Alto) is mistaken for the gloriously self-righteous ‘Bae Bae’. A series of mad antics ensue in what is sure to be a night of laughs.
A real shout-out must go to the top-notch comic delivery of Diana (Genevieve Lemon), who propelled the silliness on stage and brought a sage moment towards the close of the fare. Unfortunately this is where the script diverts too sharply from the rest of the play; the tone suddenly shifts to a serious place that doesn’t have the same wondrous reality-shatter of other works that manage to take comedy to dark places. The point is already made in the piece itself – the audience knows. The show ultimately ends with a whimper, no bang in sight. I found this a touch disappointing given all the walls shattered earlier in the evening.
However, if you want to catch a show that pokes fun at itself and definitely makes you laugh – then by all means, enter the rainbow world of The Homosexuals, or ‘Faggots’, currently showing at the Malthouse Theatre until Sunday 12 March.
Book your tickets here: https://tickets.malthousetheatre.com.au/booking/production/syos/3205
Image by Brett Boardman