Everything But the Kitchen Sink Night 1 Review
ATYP’s reviewing program was created to give young people a platform to voice their opinions and experiences while developing skills in critical reflection. The views expressed are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of ATYP or its staff.
It’s opening night of the Everything But the Kitchen Sink Festival’s second year at Marrickville’s Flight Path Theatre, and though planes are flying overhead, you’ll barely hear them over the cheers and laughter of the rapturous young audience. Billed as a ‘weird, feisty, boundary-pushing and genre-defying’ performing art festival, I was lucky enough to catch Night 1 of the two programs on offer; a delectable and expertly curated feast of drag, camp and satire unpacking Australian masculinity to riotous effect, and Australian racism to a much more sombre conclusion.
Violently androgynous (their own words!) Frankie Fearce opened the proceedings with Dazza, a one-‘man’ show starring their alarming well well-observed alter ego of working-class regional Aussie masculinity. Dazza is the bar fly of a regional pub, skulling VB, dressed in high-vis and lamenting how “back in my day you could say whatever the f*ck you wanted to gay people and no one would bat an eyelid”. It’s not only an uncanny creation, but brilliantly written, packed to the brim with wit, social commentary and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. Fearce so clearly relishes being able to reclaim this character’s homophobia and transphobia on their own terms, getting to poke fun at the pain they inflict, and refusing to indulge the very real shame and violence of these men that threatens to loom too heavy.
Edilia Ford provides intermission entertainment with a vulnerable and candid chat-to-audience about the racism she’s encountered as a mixed-race Asian Australian woman, speaking with honesty about the racist assumptions and behaviour she’s faced. She finishes by hopefully wishing for a future for her children where they aren’t subjected to the same.
It’s a touching moment, and the last one for the night before the tone shifts radically for the finale, Horse Play, a high-camp drag extravaganza following the ancient Greek ‘dudes’ squashed inside the Trojan Horse, waiting to attack.
In a series of increasingly ridiculous sketches, the boys pass the time pretending their swords are dicks, playing f/marry/kill with Medusa, looking at each other’s spotty dicks, comparing the size of their dick swords… There’s a lot of dicks. It’s almost too silly, but as Ginuwine’s Pony plays and the audience laps up every moment of these brilliant performers’ commitment and hyper-masculine physicality, I’m struck by just how spectacular this mini-festival is.
Low-budget but high-entertainment is exactly what this festival is about, and though there aren’t fancy lights or extravagant sets, we’re delivered entertainment in spades thanks to stellar writing, acting and curating. As one of the producer’s chants with the audience after the show:
“What did you watch?”
“What are you gonna do?”
“Tell your friends!”
It’s a beautiful reminder of exactly the sort of energy and community that makes theatre move in this country, and I’m so excited to see how this festival grows and evolves with its young audience and theatre makers in years to come.
Emmanuelle, 22 [she/they]
Everything but the Kitchen Sink plays at Flight Path Theatre until the 4th of November. See details here.