New plays take on consent and culture

Actors perform Implied Consent.

Implied Consent 
February 2, 10, 14, Perth Fringe Festival
The Actor’s Hub, 129 Kensington St, East Perth
An Evening with… 
February 3, 8, 16, Perth Fringe Festival
The Actor’s Hub, 129 Kensington St, East Perth

In the tradition of epic theatre and following in the footsteps of last year’s successful One Punch Wonder by the Actor’s Hub in Perth, comes Implied Consent. The play explores the issue of what constitutes consent, primarily in a sexual context. It features some chilling personal tales provided by the hundreds of people the actors interviewed.

The troupe of four actors (Actors’ Hub graduates Glenn Wallis and Justin Gray, third-year student Chloe Gaskell and Yirra Yarkin actor Jess Ward) dramatise the interviewees’ stories. They use fast-paced quotes, choreography and longer monologues to convey the devastating impact of consent taken without being freely given.

To lighten the mood, the play is set as a game show with two competing teams. The “contestants” boldly treat controversial sub-themes such as rape and domestic violence, and the consequences of not speaking up. Grim scenarios are interspersed with humour and the play finishes with suggestions for bringing about cultural change.

Thought-provoking, emotionally engaging and morally challenging, the play keeps audiences talking well after the final lines were uttered.

For its part, the concept of the satirical An Evening With… is very simple. Two actors impersonate a couple of prominent Australian cultural figures within the context of a surreal TV chat show that purports to discover the ultimate Australian icon.

The two personalities on show are Steve Irwin and Dame Edna Everage. Among the broad humour are some very acute observations about racism, sexism, homophobia and the state of our environment.

How is the cultural icon chosen? By being bombarded with questions selected from the federal government’s test for prospective citizens! The answers are cleverly taken from real statements of Irwin and Dame Edna.

The entertainment is carried by the energy, passion and talent of the three actors involved, Glenn Wallis (Dame Edna), Justin Gray (Steve Irwin) and Kyle Kash, the compere.

Both shows are part of the 4x4x4 series at the Perth Fringe Festival. Purchase tickets at fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/4x4x4-fw2019