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Mardi Gras Shows

Sydney is famous in February for the SYDNEY GAY AND LESBIAN MARDI GRAS month-long Festival. Two of the projects I saw were, firstly, a short new work THE FABULOUS PUNCH AND JUDY SHOW by Brent Thorpe at the Cleveland Street Theatre. The text is muddled and the Gay Politics feel dated but there are some amusing “sketch” comedy bits. The direction by Anthony Skuse and the really marvelous Design by Rita Carmody supported gorgeously by the Lighting Design of Verity Hampson has more than a whiff of the old Lindsay Kemp theatrics. Arky Michael gives a brilliantly dark physical, vocal and emotional commitment to his Mr Punch as does Lyn Pierse as Judy. The rest of the company is physically present with the brilliant control and eye of Sam Chester, the choreographer.

Secondly, the other work was hosted by the Performance Space at Sydney’s new spectacular new performance centre: CARRIAGEWORKS. QUICK AND DIRTY – two nights of differently curated “vaudeville” turns of QueerTheatre/Performance. This sometimes feels that it is part of some fashionable “aesthetics of failiure” – highly prized and celebrated by some. The best work was oddly tradional in conception and execution –  an interactive video performance with a performer known as Trash Vaudeville called FOOLS GOLD and a gorgeously executed UV light strip tease THE INVISIBLE WOMAN IN OUTER SPACE by Sex Intents and Glita Supernova. This was the Friday night. I understand that the Saturday night was much better but for me it is just legendary as I was elsewhere.