The Passion of the [REDACTED]
University of Otago Bookshop, 378 Great King St, Dunedin
12/03/2020 - 14/03/2020
Dunedin’s greatest and only drag/theatre/cabaret/fetish fusion company is gearing up for its final year, but we are going to go out with a bang. The first show for 2020 is The Passion of the [REDACTED], coming soon to a University Bookshop near you.
Staples, usually the rock of sanity in the midst of the Sacrilege storm, has been sucked into the intoxicating world of big-budget film-making. Her first project, her magnum opus, is to be a radical retelling of the Passion story, examining it from every political angle she can identify all at the same time. She’s even secured Keanu Reeves and the mysterious, beautiful, shockingly famous Jessica Satine to play the leads. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, this is Sacrilege, so the answer is “just about everything”. Fan favourites Mo, Amara Morningstar, the Floor Demon and Hugh Mann return to the stage, joined by a few new faces and the biggest foley team this side of the equator. Come and witness the birth of a miracle, the death of the author, and the total breakdown of someone who just wanted to make a movie.
“We’re making a proper movie with a proper budget. We’re not a cabaret company from Dunedin with no real film experience to speak of.”
Starring Rachael Cox as Staples and Jasper Ririnui as the Floor Demon. Also featuring Fabian Clarke as Amara Morningstar, Ahinata Kaitai-Mullane as Lacrimosa Pierrot, Whina Pomana as Hugh Mann, and Keanu Reeves as himself. Introducing Millie Cox as Lilith, Sam White as Guillermo, Kat Poharama as Elvis, and Morgan King as Jessica Satine.
University Bookshop, 378 Great King Street, Dunedin.
12–14 March 2020
Door sales $20.
Contains partial nudity, sexual and religious themes; parental discretion advised.
Theatre , Cabaret ,
Superb actors, great characters, stand-out performances
Review by Kate Timms-Dean 13th Mar 2020
What do you get when you cross the Passion of Christ with Samuel Beckett and a dash of gender fluidity? You get a great show full of laughter and hilarity, and the opportunity to celebrate the rainbow people of our community.
Written by Kerry Lane and directed by Mac Veitch, The Passion of the REDACTED is a stellar night out. All our favourite Sacrilege Productions characters are in attendance, larger than life and better than ever.
The story centres on the bumbling production of a movie about the life of Christ. Having secured funding to make the film, Staples (Rachel Cox), playing the film director, has spent all of the budget to secure two high profile stars, Jessica Satine (Morgan King) and Keanu Reeves, and to buy A LOT of prosciutto. Everything else is being done on a shoe string, including props (there are none), costumes (bring your own) and actors (who don’t know they’re not getting paid). What could go wrong?
This is a performance with a slew of amazing characters conveying every aspect and nuance of the gender and sexuality. Characterisation is flawless and you can’t help but love them all.
Amara Morningstar (Fabian Clarke) is sassy, sarcastic and supremely gorgeous, perfectly cast as the Virgin Mary. Hugh Mann (Whina Pomana), the genderless human, delivers their role with fantastic control and, oh my, what a voice – this human is supremely gifted as a singer. Lilith is a binary shapeshifter, PhD student by day (Millie Cox), burlesque performer by night (Verona Vega). The burlesque performance is definitely a high point of the evening, as is Lilith’s inept and under-resourced attempts at delivering worksite health and safety.
Lacrimosa ‘Mo’ Pierrot (Ahi Kaitai-Mullane) presents as a recently released murderer, perfectly capturing the crazed, slightly psychopathic personality of her character. Guillermo Quantëblaster (Samuel White) is hilariously tongue-in-cheek. From his risqué name to his ‘banana hammock’ undies, he is a laugh a minute – and you do realise he went to Julliard, right?
Rachel Cox and Morgan King, with their more ‘ordinary’ characters, are hard-pressed to stand-out amongst this colourful cast, but manage it they do, with brilliant deliveries of the director and leading lady of the film under construction.
With such superb actors and great characters, stand-out performances are very difficult to identify, but there are a couple of favourites worthy of a special mention. The Floor Demon (Jasper Ririnui) is amazing; such a great character made even better by its flawless delivery of the role. Ririnui’s superb soliloquy followed by an imagined death bring the links to Beckett’s Waiting for Godot to the fore. Equally amazing is Elvis (Kat Poharama). Playing the King is a challenge for even the most seasoned actors, but Kat is up to it and is definitely the performer of the night.
The importance of such a production as a vehicle for LBGTQ+ representation is not lost on me, as the mother of a transgender son. As the performance ends, he turns to me with tears in his eyes and tells me, “I’ve found my people.” To give him the opportunity to see his identity reflected back at him is such a gift, so thank you, thank you all.
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