The Butch Monologues in Australia

Following a sold-out UK tour, The Butch Monologues hit the road again, this time in Australia!

First stop was Melbourne’s Midsumma Festival (27th January – 3rd February 2019) and then Sydney’s Mardi Gras (23rd February – 1st March 2019).

We were absolutely thrilled that our friends in Australia also got to hear these powerful stories from interviews with butches, masculine women, gender rebels and transmen, living worldwide.

All shows in both cities were sold-out within days. This has been so much more than an international tour: the team worked closely with local arts, butch and trans communities to bring authentic Australian voices on stage. The reviews in local and national press, and art blogs were overwhelmingly impressive! We have collated below some of the most striking words written about the show:

“Making theatre is never easy. Making this show must have been hard at times. The research is expansive, impressive. But it’s also five people on stage, under a comforting light, telling small intimate stories. Theatre does not need to be big and complicated to be important and to have impact. More of these kinds of nights, please. Tell me stories of people I do not know or have never heard from” Review by Keith Grow

“These beautifully crafted vignettes ripple with humour and humanity, struggle and desire. As theatre, The Butch Monologues is as important a piece of social activism as Dean Bryant’s Gaybies” Cameron Woodhead, Sydney Morning Herald, ****

“The stories in The Butch Monologues are real, but they’re not told verbatim. While their natural voices are kept, the writing is structured and styled to be as poetic as it is natural. Bridgeman’s writing and McNamara’s direction ensure that the heart of each story is heard, sometimes most loudly in the silent subtext. And while each new show includes different stories, they are ordered and chosen to tell a much bigger story about identity and ultimately inclusiveness.
This ongoing process of collecting experiences and five people reading stories on a stage creates community among people who may never have known they were all together. I hope it has a chance to come back to Melbourne and be seen more widely.” Sometimes Melbourne Blog

“The Butch Monologues doesn’t only create a space for these otherwise silenced voices. It allows fellow queer and non-binary audience members to have a yarn with these performers and gives audiences a chance to ask questions about a culture they might not know much about. The Q and A opened up questions I’d never considered before, such whether we are losing or gaining nuances of sexuality and gender in current times, or the pressures of being in some kind of transit when it comes to social notions about gender.” Carissa Lee, Witness

“One of the great strengths of a show like this is the polyphony of voices, the ways in which individual experiences begin to weave together to create something akin to a shared history. One woman’s experience with breast reduction is hilarious and heartwarming, but it is followed directly by a truly horrific story of binding and scarification. […] There is high drama, low comedy and constant tonal shifts in this piece; it’s a testament to the honesty of the interviewees, but even more to the skill of the theatre makers who conceived and manifested it. As a work of art, it’s hilarious, shocking and incredibly poignant, and a pertinent reminder that all identifications – especially the ones modern queer theory might like to leave behind – remain vital ingredients in that alphabet soup.” Tim Byrne, Time Out Melbourne

 

We extend our congratulations to everyone who made it happen, once again!

We are proud to see this production growing from a theatre project into a movement!

Whether you have seen the show or not, and wherever you are, you can read 56 of the testimonials from butches and gender rebels in ‘The Butch Monologues’ publication, written by Laura Bridgeman, edited by Laura Bridgeman and Julie McNamara, and designed by Zed Gregory. The book is available to buy from our website (click here). Get a copy for yourself and one more to give away as a present!

The journey continues and you can follow it on The Butch Monologue’s website here.