The Night of the Queer
TAPAC

The Night of the Queer

is guaranteed to become a calendar event. Curated by James Luck (performer, choreographer and director) this hour-long extravaganza was bold, risque and deliciously satisfying. Intimate tables, fairylights and simmering acts by talented performers took the stage by storm.

Ringmaster of a consummate troupe (including circus acts, soul singers, pole performers and burlesque artists), Luck curated a night of variety, levity and soul music. Bryony Skillington and Rebekkah Schoonbeek crooned, swaggered and bounced their way through the night while Kyle Holland on the pole and Ellyce Bisson on the hoop added to the show's sophisticated menu. However, the unequivocal show stealer was the shy and increasingly confident stage manager-turned-performer, Hamish McGregor.

Advertisement

From helping performers with costume changes to quietly wishing he could be a ballerino, McGregor's character and choice of songs took us on a ride singing right along to yesteryear's classics. The simple set (Grecian columns and trailing vines) came alive under Tim Williams' vibrant lighting design and the attention to detail definitely set this show apart and above the rest.

Take in as many shows in the Auckland Pride Festival as possible, but whatever you do, make sure you book your table for next year! — By Dione Joseph
The Legacy Project 5
Loft at Q Theatre, until February 16

A staple of the Pride Festival, The Legacy Project returns this year with six innovative short plays that provide fresh takes on the queer experience. From artistic director Bruce Brown, The Legacy Project has consistently acted as a space for emerging theatrical talent in Auckland.

This year is no exception, with six short plays that are equal parts hilarious, moving and confronting. Highlights include Clean Up in Aisle 3, an examination of the breakdown of a once-perfect relationship, where Ashleigh Ogden's writing carefully balances the two voices and finds neat drama in the moment they diverge; Sherry Zhang and Lee-Ann Dirks give strong performances. Whole, the following play, puts the anxieties of gay sexuality under a microscope to a painfully honest degree with delicate writing by Danny Lam.

The final play, Mud Maids, is a winner. Written and starring Holly Hudson alongside Ava Diakhaby, the brilliantly simple piece follows two best friends making a series of courtesy phone calls after Hudson's character contracts HPV. The two received the biggest laughs of the night as they delivered a witty and fast-paced script with incredible chemistry.

The Legacy Project has topped itself again, with a fine selection of dynamic, rule-breaking stories told with unflinching honesty. This is uniquely queer theatre, told from a uniquely queer perspective. — By George Fenwick

Poster of Gays in Space. Photo / Supplied
Poster of Gays in Space. Photo / Supplied

Gays in Space
Loft at Q Theatre, until February 16

Three hapless homosexuals on their way to probe Uranus; rarely has a play synopsis summed up a work so well. Everything you need to know about Gays in Space can be found in that single sentence: it's camp, lewd, a tad on the nose and, unquestionably, undeniably gay.

Advertisement

The latest from Tom Sainsbury and Jason Smith shows what an unstoppable force these two are becoming (they worked together on last year's Infectious). With bitchy characters, a love of puns, dialogue that pushes the extremes, it includes the added treat of several memorable musical numbers. Ballads such as Dayj for Days and Hey, Stop, Wait a Minute displayed a lyrical comic genius in songwriter Jason Smith reminiscent of Eric Idle.

The main heroes - brilliant performances all round by Daryl Wrightson, Zak Enayat and Chris Parker - have surprising depth behind their archetypes, allowing the play to build beyond its initial joke into a pleasantly formed and sweet story.

Those who revel in the naughty and ridiculous will find plenty to savour in this loud and proud spectacle. With catchy tunes, unforgettable dancing and a standout performance from Blaise Clotworthy as the aptly named SexBot, Gays in Space feels like a cult classic in the making. - By Ethan Sills