Review | Laura Money
Do you remember having The Talk with your parents? How about the awkwardness of sexual education classes en masse at school? I remember that I just had more questions than answers – a problem that writer Gita Bezard highlights in her hilarious and timely script. The Talk is the latest work for independent theatre group The Last Great Hunt – a collective of Perth-based theatre makers and innovators whose shows usually reflect the zeitgeist while making biting commentaries on masculinities, feminism, Millennials, the environment and current affairs.
Eva (Cassidy Dunn) wants answers. As a teenage girl who has recently had a sexual encounter, all she wants to know is whether it was done right. She is dissatisfied with her experience and doesn’t know why. Dunn’s expressions of confusion and frustration are brilliantly underplayed – her embarrassed cringe is everything. Megan Hunter and Christina Odam take on multiple roles throughout, hilariously whipping back and forth between bitchy schoolgirls to world-weary young adults, desperate teenage boys, and ‘progressive’ parents.
A mint and coral minimalist set is full of fluffy towels and other teenage accoutrements (bananas feature heavily) just hinting at a hidden world of sexual education. The absolute stand-out moments of the performance come in the form of coordinated dances – mash-ups of popular songs (mostly from the 90s and 00s.) They serve as a reminder that music about sex – in particular masculinity and male pleasure – is pervasively marketed to young people – but the lyrics still don’t make sense to people who don’t quite understand them. Dunn, Hunter and Odam transport you straight back to the school yard with their ridiculously knowing facial expressions and ironically sexless schoolgirl moves.
This show is hilarious – from the dances to the sex ed class, the awkward encounter in the boy’s toilets to the ‘Dolly Doctor-esque’ advice about sex that the teenage girls spout. Hunter is brilliant as the weird kid, Mikey – nailing all the awkward teenage boy moves, and Odam’s jaded but empowered Sally (a very mature 18 years old) really shines as she watches Eva’s bold character development. The Talk is snappy, funny, well-written and brilliantly acted. It strips away the ‘adult’ layer of doubt and highlights the absurd reactions they have to talking about sex. It brilliantly questions why male pleasure and notions of pornography minimise women’s role in what is essentially a two-person party.
The Talk probably raises more questions than answers, but it starts the conversation, and that’s all that matters.
WHEN: 11 – 21 April 2018 | 7:30pm
WHERE: Subiaco Arts Centre
INFO: Tickets $22 – $28 | Duration 60 mins | Suitable 14+ | Coarse language, sexual themes | THEATRE