If you like your metaphors to be irreverent twisted and forced down your throat, then Wild Bore is the piece for you this month. Four actors take us through a variety of topics such as the concept of theatre, the shenanigans of theatre reviewers and the art of talking through one’s bottom.
And for the first twenty minutes of the piece, this is precisely what occurs. Three bottoms belonging to the three actors are displayed, actors bent over and reading from their scripts placed on the floor of the stage. The bottoms hold court at a seminar on the subject of the art, or lack thereof, of theatre criticism. Framed by a trestle table and a microphone each, the actors’ bottoms take us through a variety of snippets taken from real theatre reviews, Facebook comments and twisted tweets to the shock, amusement and bewilderment of the audience; I am certain these reactions were felt all at once by most of the audience members. It is a mocking on a grand scale but at the same time a celebration of the hilarity that can come from reading theatre reviews.
The three female performers Zoe Coombs Marr, Urusula Martinez and Adrienne Truscott deliver sentences from their favourite theatre reviews they have amassed. It is provocative and courageous. Up for scrutiny are even their own reviews critiquing their previous jaunts on stage.
Bottoms down and then turning around, the cast sit at the table and begin their direct addresses to the audience. In reading out material, their exasperated facial expression say it all. Do theatre reviewers get so confused, stoop so low or write such wankery? The evening was a flourish of antics on stage that affirmed a big ‘yes’.
This whole production could be viewed as theatre of the absurd for the 21st century. There are the incongruous props, the non-linear narrative, the futility of subject matter and the masks plus a few well-timed pauses thrown in.
One of the many highlights of this production is Martinez’ scene that sees her standing in male Elizabethan costume looking resplendent in mustard tights. She delivers a soliloquy that centres around the phrase ‘for no apparent reason’, a phrase extracted from one her reviews. Like and elastic band, the phrase was stretched, re-configured and used to great effect illustrating how amusing this addition to a sentence can be when written by one of her reviewers who was unable to fathom why Martinez would want to build a wall on stage as part of her act.
Truscott dances, runs and gyrates about the stage. Donning a native Indian headdress and being wheeled out on a pick-up trolley is but one of the zany images she creates.
Coombs Marr is stunning in her wry delivery and her self-effacing repartee. She is loud and proud.
All three actors have a complete ball on stage and this freedom and frivolity rubs off on the audience who accept their joy ride with little resistance. In the latter part of the show all three spend time on stage naked. Stage nudity – sometimes confronting always provocative but rarely as funny and as playful as what we get in this production.
Finally to almost stop the merry-go-round of nudity and nonsense a fourth member of the cast appears who acts like a chorus member, a young chorus member, trying to give some sort of sense to the evening’s proceedings and to add a little more of their own political comment. Krishna Istha is cute, fiery, and cheeky and has a lot to say on the subjects of queer culture and gender politics. Their direct address to the audience, like the three other performers, is endearing and determined.
This production is not for the faint-hearted. A roller coaster of political comment wrapped up in well-meaning self-deprecating humour. It is an excellent script interrogating the motives of local and overseas reviewers. It’s one big lambasting session! But be warned, the nudity!
This production was reviewed for the theatre website, theatrepeople.com.au
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Running until June 4th