Adelaide, Adelaide Fringe 2015

I Still Call Australia Homo, Adelaide Fringe Festival 2015

0 Comments 25 February 2015

I Still Call Australia Homo is a title that really alerts you to the subject matter. This play, presented by the In and Out Project (formed by four recent graduates of the Victorian College of the Arts), introduces us to two couples, Pippa and Daniel and Jake and Cara.

Set in Australian suburbia on steroids, I Still Call Australia Homo follows two couples living in a perfect neighbourhood. Jake and Daniel fetch the morning papers and mow the lawns, happily greeting each other from their respective yards and emphatically punctuating every sentence with ‘mate.’ Jake is a carpenter; Daniel is an accountant. Pippa is the president of the local chapter of the neighbourhood watch, while Cara is a hard working doctor.

If it sounds like an over exaggerated caricature of suburban life, it’s because it is. We soon discover that the Australia of the play is one where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by law. Suspected homosexuals are routinely beaten, and members of the public are encouraged to dob in their neighbours. This makes Daniel and Jake’s enthusiastic displays of enjoyment in traditionally masculine things like football understandable, as they try to hide their true sexuality.

All four actors are talented and depict their respective characters well. The growing relationship between Daniel and Jake is lovely to watch and is deftly handled. The script makes good use of humour, featuring many puns and a of lot sexual innuendo, both of which usually hit the mark.

However, it isn’t clear from this production how much of what we see is relevant to life today. While it is undebatable that the LGBTI community continues to experience oppression and discrimination, setting this play in a dystopian present distances the audience from the issues portrayed and does not aid its message. It would be more effective to see a similar story play out in our current society, with its explicit and covert discrimination. Instead, we see a society that is far removed from our own; an interesting choice when there is so much subject matter to be found in the real world.

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Rose is a recent Arts and International Studies graduate and admin wizard. She has a keen interest in theatre, film and performing arts. She also loves naan bread.

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