‘Mariage Blanc’ is marriage without consummation, but there is plenty of sex in this production as lust, gender and sexuality are examined in this heart-warming, cock-filled cockamamie.
Sarah Giles’ direction sees elements of pantomime, a historical take on Puppetry Of The Penis, dance and drama blended to great effect. The result is a world that seems strict, committed to strange ritual or tradition, but sprinkled with what reveals the absurdity that inquisitive and peripheral Bianca (Paige Gardiner), a girl geographically close but emotionally worlds apart from her family as she stands on the cusp of sexual awakening, sees in it all.
A strong cast morph from prim and proper to zoological cacophony and baser madness with ease, the latter providing a stunning contrast to the coldness Lucia Mastrantone provides as Bianca’s mother, or Gig Clarke’s charming frigidness as her betrothed Benjamin, though not too far from the ravenous and hilarious portrayal of Bianca’s sister, Pauline, by Katie McDonald.
As the bride-to-be Bianca becomes increasingly overwhelmed by the hyper-sexualised world she enters upon departing childhood, awe, awkwardness and disgust ultimately culminate in dissatisfaction with the fact that she has been stripped of the freedom to choose. For all the comedy, it’s a rather poignant message, and one that unites everyone in their uncertainty and fickle appraisals of their own bodies.
WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 16 December, Wharf 2, Sydney Theatre Company
Drum (Dec 11, 2012)
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