Adelaide Fringe 2015
I Still Call Australia Homo aims to show us a dystopian alternate reality where Australia is the worst place on Earth to be gay. Despite such a heavy topic, the audience is shown the turmoils and the struggles of what it’s like to be true to yourself in such a dangerous place in a lighter tone.
It all begins with pastel stereotypes and plastic-fake-suburban happiness when the cast — who also wrote the play — Adam Ibrahim, Sonja Bishopp, Emma Annand, and Ryan Forbes leap up onto stage to begin their tale. Set and costume designer Jack Fordham’s plain yet thoughtful and effective designs set the dry but sinister tone of tale perfectly.
After a slow start, the cast begins to hit their stride with slick delivery of innuendo, and more powerful emotions being uncovered. Their relationships get infinitely more interesting, and change rapidly from how we first perceived them. There is little laughter from the audience, who seemed more interested in where the relationships were headed.
The narrative becomes fast and frantic, especially when the scene-stealing Bishopp is around. Prowling around the stage as the frustrated and confused Pippa, or standing dead-still, her shrill screams and rants startle the audience every time.
While the narrative does its best to churn along, we start to see cracks appearing in the veneer of the relationships between each couple, and also between all four of them. Still, their lives continue in a shower of parties, yoga, and barbecues. Tensions are high, now that the two husbands are beginning to fall in love! Cue the drama and turmoil.
I was expecting to see more visual representations of the repercussions of being openly gay in this society. I expected it to be more visually violent and dark. Our only line into this dangerous world is through the occasional news bulletin telling us about protests and the violence against the LGBTQ community.
The ice cream delivery boy was a surprise. You’re left wondering what possible role could he play, and why is he there? You will find out in good time, but only if you see the show.
Special mention to Annand for her powerful final scenes which were heartbreakingly beautiful. This was an enjoyable show which attempted to wrestle with an incredibly important and complicated social topic. They deserve a round of applause for telling their story and standing up for those who need it.