The Butch Monologues speaks directly to its audience about the life experiences of butches, transmen, and gender rebels, by telling a collection of 55 (or so) real-life stories collected from around the world.
Spoken by five, talented and powerful readers and the writer, Julie Bridgeman, the performance is an honest telling of stories, presenting much of the knowledge and heartbreak felt by these sections of the community. Talking through much of the labelling and names used in these communities, like butch, dike, queer, trans, etc the performance works to arrive at a healthier understanding of these labels and the subcultures that use them. As seen with the word, 'butch' which is both reviled and embraced for all its classification and biase, the show highlights some of the challenges of living in a binary setting, and acknowledges the flaws in some of these communities.
In this show, the audience becomes privy to the pain and heartache but also the warmth and humor that people in these communities live through, with the audience witnessing a communal strength and understanding gained through the performance. Reclaiming some of the negative connotations with labels, dealing with the sensitive use of 'pronouns', highlighting the pride in masculine (or feminine dressing), are all points where in the writer's words, Julie Bridgeman the performance "continues to be brave in the telling of other people's words". This show that talks of community, as seen in the Q& A session at the end, where the readers expressed an interest in the audience, and this was clearly reciprocated.
Giving a powerful, emotive and ultimately restorative explanation on these diverse communities, people should see The Butch Monologues because it talks of people and of finding community - these being people that don't have much public profile or mainstream coverage but whose stories remain strong and honest, giving you viewing that makes us more compassionate and understanding as human beings. And this is a good thing.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Location: Theatre Works, 14 Acland Street St Kilda 3182
Dates: 27 Jan – 3 Feb 2019
Times: Sun 27th Jan 2:00pm, Mon 28th Jan 7:00pm, Tue-Sun 29th Jan – 3rd Feb 9:00pm
Tickets: $27.50 - $34.50 (booking fees included)
Bookings: 03 9534 3388