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    Default Unsex Me

    Theatre Review by Lisa Romeo

    What: Unsex Me
    Where: La Mama Courthouse
    When: 11 June – 15 June
    Writer and performer: Mark Wilson
    Set & Costume Design: Amaya Vecellio
    Creative Producer: Tobias Manderson Galvin

    Unsex Me is presented by La Mama, a production of MKA’s HYPRTXT Festival Theatre of New Writing. I ask myself how I can make sense of such a far-reaching show. I’m not sure if I need to decide if it is about fact or fiction. All I am sure of is that there is no absolute in art and this is definitely a theatrical work of art. For the sake of creative expression writer and performer Mark Wilson is fearless.

    The stage background is set with rich, cream creped curtains and couch, and that is all the props required, the rest lies with Wilson as she steps onto the stage as the daughter of a theatre legend and award-winning actress; all focus is directed on her, a drag queen extraordinaire with legs finer than Naomi Campbell's. There is no subtlety about this character, she is very confronting!

    I, a lover of Shakespeare, understood that there was reference to Lady Macbeth in the show, but what is being said? Does Wilson reveal confessions about his own life? It seems that there are real life experiences in the story being told. It is conveyed in many theatrical forms, some of which I don’t quite know are staged, or spontaneous.

    The main character is a Starlet, being interviewed and successful on a grand scale, she talks of her highs and lows and the influences that have shaped her success. Seductively seated on the couch she introduces her boyfriend, and I wonder, as I’m sure the rest of the audience might have, was he also an actor or was this audience participation? Regardless, they share a sexy intimate moment, a beautiful attention grabbing scenario where they kiss passionately.

    And so the show moves on, a little cabaret mixed in with some Beyonce tunes, and then more sexually explicit performances. None offensive to myself personally, but if one is offended by a little R rated show, then don’t bother watching. I am left wondering if ‘Daddy’ is an incestuous reference or a paedophile. My interpretations found many a paradox in this story. The message is that people draw incorrect parallels between paedophilia and homosexuality, even incest, believing they are one in the same.

    There was an underlying correlation that the fact of these conceited beliefs may often result in self harm, that of which the writer may himself have had to face through the suicide of a close friend, and in this very deep and dark recount of such an event, he tells of the tragedy in the most passionate and emotional way.

    The story was relayed to find closure and to express the deep sorrow that was felt and so sensitively portrayed in the actor’s performance. It also provides the message that needs to be understood by the masses; no prejudice, no discrimination no narrow minded stereo typing is accepted.

    There is shock value in the performance of Mark Wilson; it is not for those easily offended by open sexuality. The highly charged actor expresses, by way of his art, the sadness of gender stereotypes very precisely, the fact that homosexual males have to deal with a childless existence and the suicide that can stem from depression.

    I was moved by this solo performer. As much as it has left me with so many questions and confusion about what the show was really all about, it is however a pure form of abstract art. The answers are in our own interpretation. Like Patrick Whites’ novels, which are mentioned in this show, Wilson’s writing also tackles questions about the myriad of human flaws, weaknesses and hypocrisies.

    3.5 stars
    Last edited by Mick Pacholli; 30th December 2014 at 12:30 AM.

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