By Zenna Newman-Santos
Witty, bizzare and full of more academic references than you can poke a stick at, Loopholes is not to be missed if you’re on the prowl for a good time.
In my review for Unveiling: Gay Sex for Endtimes, I expressed my regret at the lack of experimental theatre on campus. After seeing Loopholes, I feel like I need to eat my words.
Written and directed by Amber Galbraith, Loopholes tells the story of the power struggle between two very different women. On one hand, there is Dr Maxine du Messier (Parveen Gupta), a powerful, but puritanical, academic. On the other, there is Venus Nipplé (Cassee Lazic), the boss of an exceedingly successful “skimpy” bar. They vie for control over Bambi (Elizabeth ‘Libby” Wells) and Kitty (Andrea Kendrick), two women torn between their studies and their work. Each woman is aided by her male sidekicks; Maxine by the bumbling Cornelius (Simon Meiri) and Venus by her Hunky Man Slaves (Vasco Jansen and Nic Doig). All of this is wonderfully accompanied by co-composer Ramiah Meleah Alcantara’s score and lighting and sound design by Evie MacPherson.
Loopholes examines the struggle between the elitist world of academia and the hedonistic world of sex work, but also challenges gender stereotypes in a way that is becoming enjoyably familiar. The dichotomy between the two main characters wonderfully highlights the way society is so quick to categorise women, with very little room for the emotional and intellectual depth within each person.
A minimalist set with blurred lines between locations makes this a piece with very few distractions from the action on stage and moments of audience interaction are sure to keep you on your toes.
Heads up: this might be a show to leave little ones at home, just in case the plot didn’t give that away.
This is just the latest work to show that Galbraith is a theatre-maker with a lot of promise and I personally can’t wait to see what she does next.
Loopholes is showing at Studio 411 for two nights only, 24th and 25th of August at 7.30pm. Don’t miss out, get your tickets at https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=413681 or at the door.