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5 lesbians eating a quiche @ glen street : a fluffy confection

5 LESBIANS EATING A QUICHE … good title! As they say. And truth in advertising. There are lesbians, five in fact, and there is a quiche. More than one actually. Plus there is a disturbingly excitable female cast, a ludicrous number of egg references and some extraordinarily silly language- reclamation of the ‘L’ word.

The Susan B Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein is a group of mid 1950s widows who meet to honour their founder who was lost, hungry and butch when she stumbled into a bunch of wild chickens whose eggs sustained her in some peculiar ritualistic, emotive, gynocentric kind of way.

Yeah, even typing that is weird. So … anyway: they have an annual sacred quiche competition to honour the egg, the ovum, the pre-chicken dinner. Apparently we, the audience, have submitted a quiche for judgement too. But the threat of nuclear war is putting a damper on the hijinks. The red menace looms like against- the-rules meat in a quiche.

Especially for Marjorie, the poor bloke third row centre. Try to avoid sitting there fellas … just sayin! We all have name tags you see. The exuberant cast burst into the foyer before the show and thrust the name tag stickers upon you! There is no avoiding them … believe me we tried. Sneak into the theatre and there’s another coiffed, effusive matron to announce that you are Andrea, or Lauren or … well you get the idea.

And it gets sillier from there. This fluffy confection, more croissant than quiche, does have a storyline of sorts but it’s really about engaging with the 5 cast members who are in and out of the audience, charmingly enthusiastic and in fine form.

They are grotesques and they are exaggerated but there is considerable skill to make that work. To create pathos from the over blown is no mean feat and there is one sequence which really taps into our sympathetic emotions. And that’s down to the excellent ensemble work from performers who know how to work a crowd.

Experience tells in a show like this and they have been working together for quite a while. Plus they are constantly on the move and busy: a well-orchestrated recipe by Director, Nathaneal Cooper.

As Wren, Lauren O’Rourke is the biggest, or I might mean broadest role, but not overpoweringly so. Her facial expressions and gestures respond to the audience’s appreciation and that keeps the character from distracting from the whole.

Ashlee Lollback as shy English import and first timer, Ginny, has terrific command of the physical comedy and is matched by the um ‘box’ camera wielding Dale (Bianca Zouppas).Their protection of the prize winning quiche is spectacular!

Quiche maker extraordinaire Vern (Lauren Jackson… not the basketballer) is statuesque, regal and a dab hand with a double entendre. The president of this baking coven is Lulie (Catherine Alcorn) who rules with an iron fist despite a disarming absence of sensible shoes.

The set is a touring set which does enough, the lighting the same, but there is a clever use of torches and house lights. In such a big space and sitting on the side, my friend and I did miss some of the dialogue though. But a reminder to try and avoid third row centre when you book.

This is a lesbian enclave that is reclaiming their right to pose and to cook and to use the L word in an all-audience, male-centred confessional kind of way.

The show rollicks along for its 75 minutes and there are quite a few laughs to be had. But another word to the wise. Despite the catchy title, this is not a show for lesbian women. Some of the references and inferences in the male penned script (Evan Linder and Andrew Hopgood) are a little uncomfortable and it is neither empowering nor reflective of lesbian experience. It’s something else. 5 LESBIANS EATING A QUICHE is a well risen, soft centred serving.

5 LESBIANS EATING A QUICHE continues at Glen Street Theatre until the 26th March.

 

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