Art

REVIEW: Unveiling: Gay Sex for Endtimes

By Jono Battista and Lawrence Murphy

Unveiling: Gay Sex for Endtimes is, by no means, a play meant for review. It is clear, from the very start, that various interpretations of Joe Lui’s vision and style are possible, and each of these interpretations are as equally valid as the others. Unveiling is a bold step into theatre that very rarely makes its way into Perth, and it is to the cast and Renegade Productions’ credit that it doesn’t fall flat on its face.

The cast (comprised of Andrew Sutherland, Michelle Aitken and Jacinta Larcombe) are all unquestionably dedicated to the work that they devised with director Joe Lui – no matter the context, being nude onstage is a very compromising and vulnerable act. Despite this, all three of them manifest a confidence which not only earns the respect of the audience, but demands it. Even as the show descends into an absurd cacophony of locusts, lambs and fake bodily fluids, the commitment of the performers never once falters.

The show is also delightfully off-kilter in its design – plastic curtains shield the walls, the rostra and bed create depth, and the projection on the walls supplies the performers with some truly impressive backdrops. Sound and volume also plays a large role in ensuring the audience’s attention never wavers – micro and megaphones are both used liberally, even though the Blue Room’s small space is not difficult to fill with an unamplified voice.  There were moments where the over-lapping dialogue made for strained comprehension, but whether that was intentional or not is left open to question.

As we touched on before, Unveiling is theatre that is completely outside the norm. The antiquated beliefs and rules that suffocate our society get a solid deconstruction during the play and done in such a way the irony is enlightening. Consistent references to the Book of Revelations (giving the subtitle “Gay Sex for Endtimes” its context), animal-centric symbolism, call-backs to The Wizard of Oz, and one particularly meta rant regarding (mentioned several times by name in the show) Joe Lui’s directing and devising style all create a piece that is very easy to dismiss as meaningless. However, doing so is a discredit to the careful craftsmanship that is woven throughout it. No matter what one thinks of the show’s extremely bizarre content, it cannot be denied that the show makes its impact – what that impact is exactly will vary from person to person. If you were hoping to dip your toes in some theatre over a relaxing wine to break your nightly routine Unveiling may not be for you. However, the intensity serves it all the more if you let it take you on its rollercoaster ride.

Unveiling: Gay Sex for Endtimes runs until the 25th of November.

You can get tickets here

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