White Trash Omnibus
13/08/2008 - 16/08/2008
Andrew loves Jeremy. Jeremy loves Andrew, but won’t admit it. Jeremy likes to fool around with Kevin. Cheryl thinks she loves Kevin, and is having his baby. Kevin loves himself. Then along comes Denis to f*ck it all up…
White Trash Omnibus is written and directed by Auckland University Creative & Performing Arts Masters graduate and playwright Patrick Graham, author of iS and Lost Girls, both recently performed at the Herald Theatre.
The play stars Ari Boyland who is set to feature in the upcoming South Pacific Pictures TV series Go Girls.
Also featured are Kate Rylatt, who recently featured in Stage2’s production of Suburbia, as well as Thomas Sainsbury’s popular play Beast, and Mike Ginn, a recent Unitec graduate who featured in the TV series Amazing Extraordinary Friends and Arnette Arapai’s Running With The Bulls at the Musgrove Studio.
Tragicomic and raw, White Trash Omnibus explores the lives of two men who think they’re in love with the same man…
Ari Boyland, Mike Ginn, Kate Rylatt, Jack Seabrook and Patrick Graham.
R18: Contains sexual content and violence that may offend August 13 – 16, 7:30pm, Musgrove Studio. BOOK BY CALLING THE MAIDMENT THEATE: 09-308-2383
Kevin: Ari Boyland
Andrew: Jack Seabrook
Jeremy: Mike Ginn
Cheryl: Kate Rylatt
Dennis: patrick graham
Lighting Designer: Nathan Snell
Set & Costume Design: patrick graham
Publicity Design: Dion Rowe
Lighting / Sound Operator: James Wenley
Publicity: James Wenley, patrick graham, Paul Letham
Unimaginative abusers fail to move
Review by Sian Robertson 14th Aug 2008
A week before his wedding, Kevin, emotionally retarded, quintessential Kiwi bloke, finds himself experimenting with gay sex. It turns out he likes men way more than his fat pregnant wife Cheryl.
Kevin has a job cleaning public toilets, which is where he is first seduced by Dennis, who, we discover later, is Kevin’s pregnant fiancée Cheryl’s father. Go figure. It’s hard to feel sorry for Cheryl, who, like the rest of the characters, is a total masochist and a bit dense.
Okay, so Kevin’s more of a sadist than a masochist, and his brother Andrew isn’t dense. In fact out of all the sorry, broken characters, the only one with some colour and something resembling a spine is Jack Seabrook’s effeminate nancy boy Andrew, who although stuck in the middle of it all, doesn’t mooch around playing the victim.
To his credit, Ari Boyland is also convincing and easily despise-able as ostentatiously homophobic pothead wife-beater Kevin. Jeremy (Mike Ginn) is a weak link, though I don’t know if this was entirely Ginn’s fault as he gets the short end of the stick as far as great lines are concerned.
Dennis (played by writer/director Patrick Graham) is a pathetic lonely older man, desperate for company, who can’t seem to do anything except use and abuse the ones he loves.
Kevin experiences another side of himself (as he’s cleaning the piss off the toilet floor he realises how much he loves the raw smell of man) but does he have to be such a bastard about it?
White Trash is a ‘tragicomedy’ but rather than being wickedly funny, the humour seems to be an attempt to ease depressing subject matter – instead succeeding in making it darker. The story doesn’t really comment on the fate of its white trash protagonists either: though realistic, it’s gratuitous; a black hole comedy, ultimately more gloomy than it is shocking.
Openly gay Andrew used to get off on having the crap kicked out of him by Kevin’s mates when they were kids. There’s a bit of unravelling of the brothers’ relationship, but we don’t know that much about Cheryl (Kate Rylatt) other than that her father resents her mother.
A couple of references to a drunken car crash, in which someone they knew died, has no real bearing on the story except to illustrate how fraught with tragedy their lives are. Boohoo. Perhaps if the characters weren’t all such unimaginative abusers they’d stop screwing each other over and/or dying.
For all its careless violence, flippant betrayal, attempted rape and drug-numbed grief, the story failed to move me.
Writer/director Patrick Graham explains in his apologetic programme notes that he’s kind of ‘the Ed Wood of the Auckland theatre scene’. I couldn’t have put it better myself.
Copyright © belongs to the reviewer