The Importance of Being Earnest as Performed by Three F*cking Queens and a Duck
- David Kettle
- 2 August 2014
This article is from 2014.
Filthy farce of vivid performances and an infectious sense of mounting hysteria
Filth, filth and more filth: Fringe stalwarts, Melbourne’s Out Cast Theatre, deliver a gleeful 50 minutes of breathtakingly inventive profanity as three bitchy queens attempt to stage Oscar Wilde’s ‘handbag’ play. It’s frenetically paced, pantomimey in places, but the gags come sometimes quicker than the ear can catch them – even though Steven Dawson’s play also has some pointed things to say about gay competitiveness, and the difficulties and desperation faced by older gay men.
For anyone expecting some nod towards Wilde’s original, there’s a ten-minute breakneck traversal at the end, but that’s hardly the point. What are most effective are bickering and bruised egos of the three hammy actors as they falteringly put together their doomed production (including three hilarious attempts at recasting Wilde in bizarrely inappropriate theatrical styles), as well as the have-they-haven’t-they relationships that develop between them.
Yes, it’s broad, Carry On-style humour, and it ultimately feels quite slight, but it’s faultlessly executed with vivid performances and an infectious sense of mounting hysteria.
The Space on North Bridge, 510 2386, until 23 Aug (not 10), £9–£11 (£7–£9).