Presented by Lauren Eisinger
Reviewed 1 March 2016
The title of this show, Gender Spanner, is on point. Throughout an hour of performance, the charismatic and powerful Jessica McKerlie takes the audience on a ride through different genres and different ways of seeing the world. It’s a show that explores gender fluidity in a totally fluid way!
With a bit of ukulele here, some slam poetry, a little bit of stripping and even some plate spinning, McKerlie takes us on a deeply personal and honest journey. From the moment McKerlie steps out on stage, struggling to escape a frilly straight jacket, the audience feels her energy and passion. It’s like a spark in the air!
Unfortunately, the show started off a bit slow on it’s first night, with the audience members struggling to pluck up their own energy late on a Tuesday. The music from the venue next door also damaged the atmosphere a bit, but after a while we all became transfixed by McKerlie.
I was very impressed by the ukelele playing in Gender Spanner. McKerlie’s songs are heartfelt, creative and touching, proving that you can do a lot with only four strings!
Gender Spanner is also outrageous in the most fun way. McKerlie isn’t afraid to get amongst the audience and deliver her message up close, personal and in the nude. By repeatedly stripping off and changing costume, McKerlie reminds us that our outward appearance is not what defines us.
In the end, Gender Spanner delivers a message we all should have heard before, but one that is so important it bears repeating. Instead of judging each other by the labels we give each other (and ourselves), we should be looking deeper and loving each other for what’s at each person’s core.
Reviewed by James Rudd
Rating (out of 5): 3.5
Venue: Gluttony – The Bally, Rymill Park/Murlawirrapurka Cnr East Tce & Rundle Rd, Adelaide
Season: 1 – 14 March
Duration: 50 minutes
Tickets: $10 – $25
Bookings: Book through FringeTix online or at a FringeTix box office (booking fees apply)