Angry Fags

12 Feb

Those expecting a queer subversion of Angry Birds will be disappointed. Or not – depending on how far they’re willing to stretch the whole bird, egg, pig analogy. (Yes, I had to research that.)

But as a political black comedy, Mark Nagle’s production of Topher Payne’s play is thought-provoking, fun theatre.

It’s a play about political strategy, and that’s a conversation our society needs to have. Too often we imagine our goals are all that matter, but how we attempt to achieve those goals is just as important. (An example: in Australia, current attempts to build an equitable society in regard to race are often hampered by well-intentioned voices who unthinkingly slip into the very racist attitudes they hope our society could leave behind. And so the process is made slower and more difficult. It’s the mistake Hilary Clinton made with her infamous “deplorables” comment. And, for that mistake, we are all paying.)

The world is made by our actions, not our intentions, and we must begin how we hope to end.

Set in the contemporary south of the USA, the queer characters reel at ongoing hate crimes. How can a more just world be made? One gay man says to another “They’re not frightened of us.” Is that the solution? A terror campaign?

                  Photo Credit Chris Lundie

Side note: all black comedies risk the same danger – that after the first death, there is no other (……laughter, that is.) This production has laughs a plenty despite the growing body count, and though the more sensitive may squirm, Nagle’s cast succeeds in both the pathos and the humour.

And the play’s discussion of political strategy is satisfyingly multileveled. Parallel to the debate about the use of violence is that of whether compromise is unavoidable, and whether it’s best to work from within the establishment or not.

With this intelligent and playful production, New Theatre shows once again why it is a vital part of Sydney’s theatre ecology.

Angry Fags by Topher Payne

New Theatre until March 7

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: