Burlesque by Force | Brodie JohnPhotos – Daniel Purvis

Burlesque by Force is persistently provocative, munificent and shrewd.

I am normally wary of performances doubling as a fundraiser for anything, but this collection plate for marriage equality – coinciding with the results of the postal plebiscite, is an almost total triumph. Brodie John brings a wiry magnetism to his role, Marissa Bennett and her designer Stephen Moylan, have also transformed the Nexus Arts theatre into a type of intimate confessional where John deliberates on issues of prejudice that plague society.

The most obvious point to make about the John’s one-person show is how uncannily topically relevant it seems. It is part cabaret, part expose, and part allegory and part performance art. With John delivering his feelings as only a true sufferer of prejudice can achieve.

He keeps the focus strictly on his sexuality and injuries at the hands of less enlightened people. And as the tales unfold it becomes more condemnatory and critical.

As a critique it hits several targets dead centre; sexuality, stigma, equality and marginalisation. It captures our changing times easily. But John’s success lies in articulating rage and persuading people to open their minds and think.

This is very much John’s play, with his haunting presence. It’s a tremendous performance enhanced by the subject matter. In essence, Burlesque by Force delivers a gut-wrenching – and essential – dramatization of a tragic chapter from Australia's present that is also vivid, demanding, and designed to shake you out of complacency.

 

2017 Feast Festival
Burlesque by Force
by Brodie John and Marissa Bennett

Director Marissa Bennett

Venue: Nexus Arts Centre | Cnr North Tce / Morphett St, Adelaide SA
Dates: 15 – 18 Nov 2017
Tickets: $20 – $15
Bookings: www.feast.org.au

 

 

Related Articles

Igor Levit | 2021 Adelaide Festival Igor Levit | 2021 Adelaide Festival
I have heard many performances of this great work over the years, starting with Barenboim’s of the 1960s. But Levit’s gave me a new insight into it. “For his political commitment Igor Levit...
1:1 Concerts | 2021 Adelaide Festival 1:1 Concerts | 2021 Adelaide Festival
These concerts last just ten minutes, with the listener, the performer, and no-one else. I walk through the carefully sculpted grounds of Carrick House in the southern suburbs of Adelaide. I am...

Most read Adelaide reviews

The bewildering confusion between dream and reality begins before one takes one’s seat in the...


The cast of one is Robyn Nevin, and it was no surprise that her performance was riveting.


The revelation of this concert to me was that, yes, musicians, like audiences, have been starved...


What a Pulse the acrobats exhibited! What unanimity, what complicity in their formation and...


This long and interesting concert was structured around Schoenberg’s extraordinary setting of 21...