13/02/2014 - 16/02/2014
Queen is a scream. Queen is a sass. Queen is a laugh. Queen is a cry. Queen is a voice!
Written by Sam Brooks and directed by Harry McNaughton, Queen is an award-winning play that explores the contradictions, difficulties and joys of being a young gay man in today’s society.
Queen is all the parts of being gay that people don’t talk about. It’s funny, it’s angry, it’s unflinching and it gets to what it means to be gay, here and now.
“The law deals with the ‘legal’ gay world. Being gay under-18 is a hidden world. Queen opens the door. They are the future gay community, and they declare, ‘I am Queen, and I am here.’” – theatrereview.org.nz
PART OF QUEER@TAPAC
Discount applies if you book tickets to two or more productions in the Queer@TAPAC Season
Presented by Smoke Labours Productions
Dates: Feb 13-16
Times: Thurs-Sat 8.30pm, Sun 6.30pm
Duration: 60 Min
$35 Queer Table Package (Per Person)
$20 Groups 6+
Queer Table Package = Table Of 6 With 2 Bottles Of Giesen Wine And 2 Platters
Concession: Child; Seniors; School & Tertiary Students With Id; Actors Equity
Review by Sharu Delilkan 14th Feb 2014
Queen is a scream, a sass, a laugh, a cry, a voice. The publicity material’s description of Queen is spot on.
Although a re-staging of the show, Sam Brooks’ Queen is still unique in nature because unlike most coming out gay stories the focus is the emotional roller coaster of under 18-year olds. Despite its sometimes graphic nature, complemented by the subtle themes and messages being conveyed, I couldn’t help notice that the show has been given an R13 rating. Which in a way makes sense because it is important for young teenagers to be able to come and see this show, which provides great insight into this world that has not been explored as much on stage before. [More]
Copyright © in the review belongs to the reviewer
Go, gay or not
Review by Candice Lewis 14th Feb 2014
The darkened theatre is full of little round tables to sit at; we notice there’s more than one platform from which performers are delivering the show. This means turning around throughout the production which is sometimes awkward.
Having already seen the writer, Sam Brooks, take part in the squirmingly good Corner Diary, I am expecting something raw and honest.
An older man (in comparison to the rest of the cast), Hamish McGregor opens the show with a monologue on his own ordinariness, his own “uneventful” coming out, and the consideration that he might well be a “second tier gay”. A flash of joy runs through my body. It feels like recognition, or something akin to it, yet I’m a heterosexual woman. I consider it’s because I’ve had a few gay friends in my life and they have ranged from Diva to Dagg … Yet it feels like more than that, as if easy labels for all human beings need to be addressed.
Thus the narrow confines of a dictionary definition or gay label are questioned, illustrating that they don’t tell us much about a real person. The sense of recognition and warmth continues as the cast take turns in portraying a handful of characters who share their experience of ‘gayness’ in ways that vary from the first sweet kiss to the almost brutal experience of first fuck. (That’s first, not fist, just to be clear.)
Samuel Christopher camps it up portraying a ‘baby gay’ obsessed with Beyonce, yet the other characters often define themselves in terms of “this is what I am not”. Edwin Beats is charmingly low key as he casually snacks on a tiny packet of twisties (twisted, bent?) and announces that he is “shit at being gay”.
Ryan Dulieu is slightly manic as he paces around insisting that he’s “not a girl” and that he does resent girls asking for blow job advice. I do my hetero woman check. Yes. I’ve done that. (Got some great tips mind you.) He also insists that he’s not one of “the guys” either, or even one of “the gays” even though he is, you know, gay. He’s just him. In his portrayal he throws out statements revealing and in keeping with what I expect from Sam Brooks’ writing, but I’m not going to give away all the good lines here!
One of Jeremy Rodmell’s characters’ is forthright in his ‘confession’ that his first full sexual encounter was with his drum teacher. The ensuing portrayal of this thoughtless seduction has Rodmell referring to him as “Snoopy” due to having once seen him in a play in that particular role. There’s nothing quite like seeing someone describe and comically enact a rather painful and disappointing de-flowering whilst referring to the fucker as ‘Snoopy’.
The darker side is briefly explored; the fact that gay men have so much hatred thrust upon them that suicide sometimes seems like the answer when you’re afraid to be who you are. Although this is touched on and addressed, it’s sometimes the lighter handling that has the greatest effect, and there are passages that might benefit from a little more editing or clarification.
Samuel Christopher’s wet-eyed high school sweetheart, the secret love of the First Fifteen Captain, constantly repeats “my 18”, and I don’t know if he’s referring to his age or if that’s something to do with rugby. I don’t know if he’s suicidal or if his boyfriend has committed suicide due to the pressure of pretending to be straight. I ask my straight male friend if he ‘got it’, but he says he didn’t and that the constant repeating of “my 18” was “quite creepy”.
Whatever the case, it builds up the intensity, and laughter quietens as we consider the prospect of death.
Jeremy Rodmell goes from doing Snoopy to moping about how unhappy he is, clutching onto a bunch of flowers like a more depressed version of Morrissey. Heaven knows I’m miserable now. Fortunately it all does end on an up note, not one reference to Killer Queen in sight.
Directed by Harry McNaughton, the actors use the various stages to highlight different viewpoints throughout the play. This can be a little annoying if you don’t want to keep turning in three different directions throughout the night, and the chairs have scratchy fabric, so bring a pillowcase if you have sensitive skin.
My advice? Well worth going to, no matter how gay you may or may not be.
Copyright © in the review belongs to the reviewer