The Punter's Siren

23 February 2016 | 10:52 am | Sean Maroney

"Gina Schien's script has delightfully original intentions as it navigates a day at the races (how 'Strayan) for a lone lesbian, Helen."

An Australian two-hander is always a lark. Gina Schien's script has delightfully original intentions as it navigates a day at the races (how 'Strayan) for a lone lesbian, Helen.

Helen (Jacqui Robson) is essentially the sole speaking character and ushers us in with an energetic monologue about the "lust monster", that beast that awakes deep in our loins and makes us feel... you know. This candid approach is fresh but misplaced. Robson's initial performance is engaging but sometimes forced, more a presentation than realisation of a character. Throughout the play she does settle more into the role, at times quite brilliantly. When she relaxes like this she is a pleasure to watch, funny and abound with energy. Laura Viskovich, who plays blonde bombshell Linda, is mostly silent but salacious, voluptuous, and delicious to watch. She gives the action a buoyancy that the writing of Helen doesn't quite fulfil.

While it's always a pleasure to see queer voices on stage, especially ones written in and for Sydney, Schien's script does indulge itself in troubling tropes. The mentality of one queer 'queerer than the other' and scorned for their unrestrained love is a cliched queer voice. As an audience member, it is hard to navigate authentically.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

This being said, the show is absolutely entertaining. At 55 minutes, it is worth your time. It's a highly paced rort but needs development to be an impressive performance. It may well get there by the end of its run.