Love, Secrets and Drag
SYDNEY: Think Will and Grace, think Doris Day and Rock Hudson, think show-stopping musical numbers: from the Toxteth Hotel to NIDA Parade Theatres comes Postnuptials.
When the in-laws, the maid of honour, the best man, the ex-fiancé and a jilted drag queen crash the wedding night of Kevin and Lillian, the stage is set for an epiphany of love versus principle. Such is the premise of David Earle’s Postnuptials, which is getting a full run at NIDA Parades Theatres as part of the Mardi Gras Festival.
A ménage à trios or love, secrets and drag, the production is directed by Michael Harrs. “Reminiscent of the screwball comedies of old, the play highlights the contemporary issue of gay marriage and grapples with universal human behaviour that is born out of belief systems instilled in childhood by parents,” he tells SX. “It explores heterosexual infidelity, an individual’s quest to challenge parental conditioning, and perhaps the meeting of true minds and hearts in the search for love.
“It also challenges certain mainstream conventions around marriage, monogamy and notions of ever-lasting love.”
The seed of this production was first planted in the ‘Players in the Pub’ theatre collective, led by Lyn Collingwood, which hosted rehearsed readings of plays at the Toxteth Hotel in Glebe before a move to the Harold Park Hotel last year. “Lyn wanted to explore readings of plays that were once banned plays that are controversial, or plays that exploit contentious issues,” Harrs says. “Postnuptials, as a farce, has a humorous take on the gay marriage issue, which was a perfect fit for Players in the Pub. I directed the reading with a set, props and costumes, setting a bar for future readings, which have become more rehearsed and acted rather than just a reading with a script in hand.”
Harrs has assembled a strong cast of ten actors, including Sam O’Sullivan, Vinnie Hooper and stage veteran Elaine Hudson. “My vision has been to serve the writer’s script with a minimal yet very stylised set and costumes, and to explore the themes truthfully with both poignancy and humour,” he tells. “My mission as a director is that style and substance are synonymous. This is definitely the Mardi Gras play you can safely bring your grandmother to!”
[Image] The cast of Postnuptials, directed by Michael Harrs (inset, left), with actor Vince Hooper and producer Lyn Collingwood.
NIDA Parade Theatres, February 8 – March 2. Bookings through www.ticketek.com.au.