[Review] Unveiling: Gay Sex for Endtimes

By Zenna Newman-Santos

Walking into Unveiling: Gay Sex for Endtimes, I had no idea what to expect. I knew I was seeing a retelling of The Book of Revelation. I knew it was produced by an inarguably talented group of artists. I knew it would be an experience. I was not wrong.

I always enjoy being in the dark about what I’m going to watch, but this was on another level. As a theatre student, I deal mostly in conventional forms of theatre. We’re taught about alternative, sometimes confrontational genres, but it’s not often that we get to engage with them, either as performer or audience. Going to see Unveiling was the opportunity I’ve been waiting for.

From the moment I walked into the studio space at The Blue Room Theatre and saw Michelle Aitken standing on a rostrum, wearing only a locust mask, the walls around her covered in paintings of graphic sex acts and maybe an angel or two, I knew I was in for a ride. And that’s really what this show is. A ride.

 Image courtesy of Kayla MacGillivray

Image courtesy of Kayla MacGillivray

I realised quickly that there wasn’t much point trying to follow some kind of plot, it’s the kind of show you just have to let happen around you. There is everything from boot scooting and Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz to the marriage of the lamb of Babylon and each moment comes one after the other. It’s somehow confronting, subversive, hilarious and at times a little distressing all at once. What takes this work from being an hour of self-indulgence to an extraordinary piece of theatre is how self-aware it is. The team behind this piece, directed by Joe Hooligan Lui, know exactly how long to leave their audience in the dark moments and when to bring us back into the light, sometimes literally.

Andrew Sutherland, Jacinta Larcombe and Michelle Aitken are all totally dedicated to their performances, making themselves completely vulnerable to the audience in every way. It is no mean feat for a performer to be nude on stage and all three of them carry themselves with a sense of ease about their state, helping the audience quickly acclimate to their various stages of undress.

Two quick tips for this show:

1/ Don’t see it with someone you wouldn’t watch a Game of Thrones sex scene with:
An oversimplification to be fair, but if it would make you feel uncomfortable to sit with someone and watch Jason Momoa and Emilia Clarke go at it on screen, don’t go to see this with them.

2/ Don’t wear expensive shoes if you plan on sitting in the front row, just in case:
It gets messy.

Lui, Sutherland, Aitken and Larcombe have collaborated to produce something holy, holy, holy. Don’t worry, you’ll understand.

8/10

Unveiling: Gay Sex for Endtimes is running at The Blue Room Theatre in Northbridge from 14-25 of August. Do not miss out!
Get tickets at: https://blueroom.org.au/events/unveiling-gay-sex-for-endtimes/