5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche
14/09/2023 - 24/09/2023
Written by Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood
Directed by Rosemary Manjunath
Globe Theatre Dunedin
It’s 1956 and the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein are having their annual quiche breakfast. When the Communists attack, the closet doors blow open as secrets, repressed desires and an insatiable hunger for quiche are released.
Originally produced for the New York International Film Festival in 2012, this show has received rave reviews world wide.
“Surprisingly emotional.. hysterically funny…and genuinely surprising”- Gothamist
“High-spirited theatrical comfort food with a bit of a saucy kick.”- Chicago Tribune
Don’t miss out on your opportunity to see the internationally acclaimed ‘5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche‘ performed by members of the Globe Theatre Dunedin.
14 – 23 September
14, 15, 16th at 7.30pm
17th at 2pm
19, 20, 21, 22, 23rd at 7.30pm
Lulie Stanwick - Mel McCosh
Wren Robin - Sheena Townsend
Ginny Cadbury - Louisa Stabenow
Veronica Schulz - Jess Keogh
Dale Prist - Annise Boothroyd
Production Manager - Lorraine Johnston
Stage Manager - Thomas Makinson
Front of House Manager - Kay Masters
Costume - Rosemary Manjunath, Cast
Props - Jill Herbert, Rosemary Manjunath, Cast
Lighting & Sound Design - Brian Byas
Lighting & Sound Operation - Brian Byas, Drew White
Set - Ray Fleury, Calum Beck, Rosemary Manjunath, Ebony Clementson, Freya van Alphen Fyfe, Thomas Makinson, Louisa Stabenow, Jess Keogh
Publicity - Jess Keogh, Thomas Makinson, Calum Beck
A tasty slice of fun
Review by Barbara Frame 15th Sep 2023
As we take our seats, 50s music (Che sera sera, Secret love, Only you) sets the scene. The annual quiche breakfast of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein is being held in a community centre: it’s 1956, so along with a tea trolley and a table neatly spread, there’s a sign informing us that this is also a nuclear fallout shelter.
The Society seems to operate along the lines of traditional women’s groups, with more or less equal amounts of gushiness and backbiting, but its oddity soon becomes clear. The women, all single, are egg-worshippers and their mantra is “no men, no meat.”
Their clothing reminds me of 50s women’s magazines. All wear dresses, some with gathered skirts, and thin brown nylons. There are a few strings of pearls.
When the year’s prize quiche is revealed, to rapturous applause, egg-stacy takes over and a food fight seems imminent, but just then the nuclear alarm sounds, and the comedy turns darker. No-one can go out the door for four years. The future of humanity, it seems, depends on the occupants of this little space. There’s plenty of quiche, or there would be if it wasn’t on the other side of the door, being irradiated. On the plus side, though, the members are now free to come out as lesbians.
Mel McCosh, Sheena Townsend, Louisa Stabenow, Jess Keogh and Annise Boothroyd, as the Society’s vacuous yet plucky members, keep the comedy fluid and the laughs coming, and seem perfectly attuned to the play’s quirky humour.
Rosemary Manjunath’s direction is highly capable, and she has also contributed to the production’s props, costumes and set design and construction.
Special mention must be made of the special effects. There are only two, but they are brilliantly done.
While the set is nice to look at, it seems unlikely that this clearly above-ground location would act effectively as a fallout shelter. An underground setting could make this aspect more convincing, and would also add to the claustrophobic feel.
Audience involvement is voluntary but often feels unnecessary and artificial, and future directors could consider whether it really makes a worthwhile contribution.
The 1950s decade, with its prudery, social conformity, repressed desires, anti-communist hysteria, and rigid definition of gender roles has provided playwrights Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood with rich material for affectionate mockery, and they have exploited it gleefully. It’s a great recipe, and the Globe production cooks it into a tasty slice of fun.
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