by Eliza Oliver and Ladylike Theatre Collective
CURRENTLY IN DEVELOPMENT
Cole and Leda are the best of friends. Cole is an outspoken clown, he hasn’t worn men’s jeans since the start of his emo phase in 2007. Leda, incredibly shy and charming, she wears motorcycle boots and gesticulates with abandon. Every Friday they binge-watch Rupaul together and curate one another’s dating profiles. It’s a high functioning Will and Grace relationship, except is 2018 so both of them are gay, and lesbians can be funny now too. They live in an inner-city apartment that’s decorated by Kmart because rent costs more than they earn. This laugh-out-loud, super camp play will discover how friendship, queerness, and gender inform each other, all through the lens of sitcom, and while exploring worlds within worlds to help identify the masks we have to wear each and every day.
Director and dramaturg: Teddy Dunn
Current makers/cast: Lachlan Barnett, Annabel Matheson, and Eliza Oliver.
This play is being developed with the support of State Theatre Company SA, thanks to their State Resident Program in 2019. Watch this space for more information about what the future holds for this work.
Hang In There Baby aims to ask how friendship is affected by and freed from identity binaries whilst celebrating and unpacking the importance and nuance of queer friendships and relationships. Integral to the play is how form and content marry each other to deconstruct ideas of binaries. The play’s tone is stilted in a sitcom-style where the primary forces surrounding masculinity and femininity underpin the narrative and constitutes the drama. We are looking at this style and tone, an almost farce-like model, which we will then be able to fuck with and use to further the queer dramaturgies of the play itself. We want to play with form, by setting it up and demolishing it. Much like what queerness does to gender, relationships, and identity.
Why is it that genuine queer stories are silenced on most stages? In the current Australian Queer landscape, the plebiscite has made us all mad, but too much of the rhetoric from that time was coming from straight allies rather than from our mouths. We are also committed to providing space for queer performers to celebrate and utilise their gender expression in characters that aren’t themselves, and we think this is essential in creating true visibility - cisgender/heterosexual actors playing these characters without any of the lived experience to tell these stories needs to stop. We are committed to telling LGBTQIA+ stories, with people who own these stories telling them.
This idea came from us and what we found ourselves thinking about and struggling with daily. We have had many conversations in our own lives about these issues as they directly affect us, especially when it comes to having to conform to the cis- and heteronormative standards that we’re expected to uphold within the entertainment industry.