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April 19, 2010 | by  | in Theatre |
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Goldilocks and the Three Queers

Goldilocks and the Three Queers is the third in Short Term Visitor Parking’s trilogy of radical re-imaginings of fairy tales. To be honest, it’s not a great way to go out. Goldilocks had a preview season during the Fringe this year. My review of that season is available on the spanky Salient website.

When something is listed as a preview season, one assumes that the work will grow and change and reshape upon its return. Beyond the change of space and the nip and tuck dialogue-wise, Goldilocks is still very much the flawed beast it was last time. And possibly even a little less of a beast.

With now slightly more moderated performances, Mama, Papa and Baby Queer, radical gay activists in 1970s San Fran whose house is invaded by manical bible basher Goldilocks, are even more further revealed as the bland stereotypes they are. There is nothing wrong in working in the realm of the archetype, but there is nothing to be gained from a bunch of broad characters making broad statements. Also, the recurrence of grotesque and really quite offensive Asian stereotypes throughout director Adam Donald’s work really concerns me.

But the point in need of most discussion around Goldilocks is not the play itself, but its atmosphere. On opening night a large chunk of the audience was really quite intoxicated. That kind of scary intoxicated where they think they’re hilarious but everyone else is afraid they’re just going to break something. Goldilocks is a show that asks for a lot of audience interaction, and yet the performers seemed to have no skill or plan in dealing with unruly audience. The drunk audience quickly became incredibly disruptive—shouting, breaking glasses—and the cast simply didn’t keep them in check. When the whole audience was invited on to the BATS stage (a snug fit at the best of times) there descended a real air of menace and threat over the proceedings. The cast’s inability to control the audience and the events around them quickly turn a show that was charmingly shambolic into a fiasco. Of course, one can only hope that such events will not occur every night, but it feels deeply emblematic of the work in its current state just how out of hand the show became and how badly it was handled.

My recommendation? Get a time machine and see the first season. It was better then.

Goldilocks and the Three Queers
Devised by Short Term Visitor Parking
Directed by Adam Donald
With Bronwen Pattison, Roger Johnson, Martine Gray, Simon Leary and Chris Tse

At BATS theatre
13 – 24 April 2010
book@bats.co.nz

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About the Author ()

Uther was one of the two arts editors in 2009. He was the horoscopier and theatre writer in 2010. Alongside Elle Hunt, Uther was coeditor in 2011.

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