Two friends walk into a bar, a gay one, a straight one and a bucket full of hurt. One wants to fight! One wants to … well, you know… the “other” F word.
Fag/Stag is one of the works being presented by Perth’s Independent Theatre Company, The Last Great Hunt during this year’s Fringe Festival. Despite being foolish and flawed, Corgan, played by Chris Isaacs and Jimmy, played by Jeffrey Jay Fowler, are endearing characters.
As the story begins, Jimmy breaks up with his boyfriend of 1 year and almost instantly regrets it, but the damage has been done. Corgan is still nursing the pain of his previous heartbreak, and to twist the knife into his aching heart already, he’s just been invited to her wedding.
The boys each deliver their version of events leading up to the wedding and provide an honest look at their internal monologue, the relationship with each other and their choices about the way they present themselves to the world. It’s hilarious for the most part and the audience chuckled along with the tales of their antics with online dating apps and text messaging people because they were such recognisable situations. The very same authenticity that made us laugh one minute though had us welling up with emotion the next, because they dared to expose the loneliness, desperation and pretence that most of us occasionally feel but try so hard to hide.
The show is engaging and accessible for so many reasons. Firstly, because the themes are so relevant, secondly because the language is so casual it really does feel like a couple of mates sitting around banging on about their weekend, and thirdly because of the local neighbourhood references. I happen to live in Mt Lawley and so the very descriptive references Corgan made to streets, the Liquorland store and smashing a bottle against the wall of the IGA created very clear pictures in my head.
Isaacs and Fowler deliver gorgeous, nuanced performances. They are both accomplished script writers and I look forward to seeing more of their work in the future.
The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights & The Last Great Hunt in association with PICA presents
Venue: PICA Performance Space | Perth Cultural Centre, 51 James Street, Northbridge, WA
Dates: 3 – 7 Feb, 2015