Presented by Michael Fazackerley
Reviewed 20 February 2021
Join Faz (Michael Fazackerley), originally a Tasmanian native and now proud Adelaidian, as they take you on a humorous, informative and sequin-filled journey of self-discovery and sexual identity, from the religious and conservative schools and towns of Tasmania, to the accepting and loving support group that they’ve found along the way (and a few bad dates in-between).
One thing that has changed since their Fringe performance last year is that Faz now identifies as gender neutral (not personally identifying with either gender, pronouns of them/they). They are happily open to talk about this with the audience and anyone who is unsure of what this means. Faz is confident and calm when dealing with this topic, making it an easy conversation to have, and it provides an interesting (and very important) educational element to the show.
Other elements include their time growing up in conservative Tasmania, where religion was widely spread. For those in the audience who have little been exposed to homophobia, this is a powerful learning experience to be a part of as Faz recounts stories of the hate that they endured simply for being who they truly are. Faz doesn’t make these moments of recollection uncomfortable though – they show acceptance of what has happened (plus a bit of humour), and it feels more like a friend having a chat with you (helped by the intimate seating of a COVID-safe performance).
The audience also learns about the fantastic characters that have made up Faz’s life – their darling mother and her love of smutty novels and period dramas, and their brother who is one of the straightest men around (and who found pink Vans too bold). Also included are their “fag-hag” and lesbian-life partner (the educational element continues as Faz explains what these terms mean, providing a fascinating insight into homophobia in the history of Australia).
The audience also gets to enjoy some of the worst dates our lovely Faz has had to endure over the years, acted out in front of their very eyes! From men obsessed with giant snakes (and trouser snakes) to men who psychoanalyse their date the very first time they meet, it’s a whirlwind of fun (with some help from the audience) experiencing dating as a gay man.
Fazackerley’s glamorous, “look-at-me” outfits are sure to impress even the biggest divas in the audience with an oversized faux tiger print coat, a black blazer covered in sequins, thigh-high blue and green sequinned stiletto boots, a pink suede blazer with hints of floral, plus an array of glittering rings and earrings that would impress even the Royals. There are layers upon layers of fabulousness to Faz – quite literally! You’ll definitely leave the show feeling under-dressed, but when being in this fabulous Queen’s presence, that’s simply the reality.
The Book Of Faz ends on a truly lovely note, and something that every audience member can take away with them. Our storyteller of the night, who has just been vulnerably open with their own journey of self-discovery, reminds us to be who we truly are, and to not let fear dictate our self-identity. A powerful lesson to end a fun, fabulous and freaking good show!
Reviewed by Georgina Smerd
Venue: Gillies Room at Astor Hotel, 237 Pulteney Street, Adelaide, 5000
Season: 19th Feb – 19th March 2021
Duration: 45 mins
Tickets: $15.75 – $20
Rating out of 5: 4
Astor Hotel, Adelaide Fringe, Faz, Michael Fazackerley