John Ryan reviews a great new show at the Brisbane Powerhouse — Boy&Girl 2: Mercury Rising.
Fluidity and Sexuality
FOR THOSE OF US lucky enough to have experienced a night out at Brisbane's Powerhouse, it is self evident that subtle elegance is the order of the night. Therefore, with no trepidation, did I agree to stroll down the exquisite surrounds of New Farm Park and partake of the show Boy&Girl. I had seen the advertisements, I was ready for a sexually charged adventure. I got that — and so much more.
A humid and typical Brisbane evening in January is always somewhat slaked by a chilled beer. Show is starting, no worries, carry the beer inside! On entry, there was an inviting array of salon tables, filled with excited patrons. Alas, our ensemble was in the prosaic, traditional theatre seats. No worries, I was already transported. A live band playing, jazz motifs, a carefree singer, clutching a wine, toying with dangerous semibreves.
I had a sudden notion that I would be happy if Brecht’s Threepenny Opera was about to play. Through the (artificial) haze I started to discern that modestly clad Boy&Girl actors were interacting with the audience. OK, fun, I always enjoy that.
The show proper begins; Puritanism is cast away. Leather clad S&M characters magically appear.
An amazing sequence of dance steps parade, but something is subtly different? The beautiful girls are leading the beautiful boys. How can that possibly be? Beautiful girls lead beautiful girls, beautiful boys lead beautiful boys. That ain’t supposed to work.
For pure production values, I couldn’t fault the show. For elucidation without obtuseness, it was pure didacticism.
I was drawn in, the vibrant athleticism of the performers allowed me to feel comfortable in my voyeurism. The switching of stereotypical roles engaged my intellect. The show proceeded through many subtle emotions. Trapeze that didn’t confront with strength but delighted with softness.
After all the negativity of a political campaign, it was great to witness a homegrown creation. Our wonderful young Brisbane people were exhibiting how stodginess in one’s identity, sexual and social, is from a bygone era. What started as a defiant stoicism finished as an evangelical triumphalism. Patrons of all hues dancing and cheering and clapping in unison.
This second outstanding production of Boy&Girl sadly finished on 24 January — we can only hope it will be back soon.
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