Theatre review: Heteroperformative, Basement Theatre

By Janet McAllister

This intriguing solo Pride show is misleadingly billed as "Real Housewives meets Krishnan's Dairy." Photos / Supplied
This intriguing solo Pride show is misleadingly billed as "Real Housewives meets Krishnan's Dairy." Photos / Supplied

This intriguing solo Pride show is misleadingly billed as "Real Housewives meets Krishnan's Dairy" - a glimpse into what it's like to be Indian in Glenfield and "outside of a typical Kiwi bloke gender norm".

However, the brief hour is more fringe and less stand-up comedy than that: it is unhurried performance art; slyly funny in places, but not to be taken at face value.

Directed by Jane Yonge, performer Vinay Hira has a great, clear voice and a likeable persona, and mentions his theatrical inexperience so the audience cuts him some slack (not that he needs it much).

He plays the fashion victim ("having the right things meant that people would like me"), the fashion nerd (he describes a pair of "lunettes" as having "second-generation Chanel hinges") and the wannabe.

He accessorises his beard with a blonde wig: "I don't want to be a rich white lady, I just want the things they own; like long shiny blonde hair."

Objects stand in for racist attitudes: his rich white lady character knows that "Carrara marble is better than Calcutta marble".

Rachel Marlow's lighting design works intelligently with Laura Smith's white set on which Hira's large photographs and video art are projected.

Hira tells us he wants to give us an MTV video experience and indeed, the show shares qualities with a conceptual music video: multiple scenes, recurring themes, and repeating lines. A slow-burn.

What: Heteroperformative
Where: Basement, Greys Ave
When: To February 20
Reviewer: Janet McAllister
Learn More: www.basementtheatre.co.nz/whats-on/heteroperformative/

- NZ Herald

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