Don’t you loathe the word dramedy. It sounds dreary. I’ll go, begrudgingly, with comedy drama, but really, when all is said and done, all comedy is drama, with its conflicts, contradictions and complexities.
There is also the term tragicomedy, where tragic situations are leavened by laughs, heavy lifting themes and situations made light with wit or antic. Glace Chase’s Triple X sort of sits in that space.
The tragedy is that it still seems that some in society see unorthodox coupling as repellent, vile and worthless. When affianced white male financier, Scotty, becomes enamoured of transgender woman Dexie, they are both vilified by his mother, Deborah, and his flatmate, Jase. The only support comes from Scotty’s lesbian sister, Claire, a cliche queer, crusty, backpacking vegan.
What makes Triple X complex is Scotty’s despicable see sawing of committing to Dexie, unabashedly claiming his love for her in private, renouncing their romance repeatedly in public. She instinctively girds her loins and heart for this betrayal and heartbreak, but it nevertheless cuts her to the quick. Just as Jesus reputedly predicted Peter’s denial, Dexie divines her cock crowing cupid will repudiate their relationship, which he diminishes to the calibre of one her deplorable drag show cabaret jokes.
In an intimate moment, Dexie tells of the Frankenstein parallels in what constitutes surgical gender reassignment, and there’s an echo of that famous mad doctor in Scotty’s denial of the compact with Dexie, brushing it off as an experiment, an aberration, as if to say making love to Dexie was merely introducing his foible into her quirk.
Triple X is based on Glace Chase’s life experience and there is no doubting the raw honesty in the writing and her performance as Dexie. Scotty is played by Josh McConville with the twin qualities of technical assurance and latent power, a bounding impetuosity one minute, implosions of petulance the next, impotent against the status quo.
The action is played out on a sleek and sterile set by Renee Mulder and pays respect to the tradition of tragedy and its passion for bloody denouement, albeit off stage.
Sydney Theatre Company presents
by Glace Chase
Director Paige Rattray
Venue: Wharf 1 Theatre | Sydney Theatre Company, 15 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay, Sydney NSW
Dates: 8 Jan — 26 Feb 2022