Gumtree Orgy review by David Casey

Gumtree Orgy is exactly what I come to Anywhere Festival for. To put it briefly, it is one of the most intelligent, authentic, and emotionally engaging shows I’ve seen in Anywhere Festival.

Gumtree Orgy review by David Casey
Seen 13th May
Performance season from 13th to 16th of May, at Metropolitan Motor Inn, 106 Leichhardt Street, Spring Hill
https://anywhere.is/listings/orgy/

 

Gumtree Orgy is exactly what I come to Anywhere Festival for. To put it briefly, it is one of the most intelligent, authentic, and emotionally engaging shows I’ve seen in Anywhere Festival. I laughed, I cried, I got scared, and I got angry. But we’re moving too fast, let’s go back and take our time.

As you arrive you are led to the bar to relax, then called up to a motel room where you are invited to participate as ‘a fly on the wall as Jane prepares for a night of pleasure-seeking’. Within the room, you stand as a small crowd against a wall, and watch as Jane arrives soon after, unpacking her suitcase, settling into the motel to begin preparations for her first orgy. The performance is naturalistic, so every detail of the it is tailored to absolute realism. As someone who tends to prefer shows to get a bit weird and break the boundaries of reality, I was surprised to be so engaged with a performance that chose to instead push realism to an extreme. Despite the heat of bodies and the cramped audience space, I was always too interested in what was happening to pay much mind to myself and the people around me. In no small part I think this is due to the enrolment you are given before entering the room – you are a voyeur, and the extreme realism intensifies this feeling. This is a whip smart show, and Lady Beard & Co. have tailored every aspect of it towards a singular and focused purpose.

I’m not just making a joke in the opening of this review, performances that intelligently interweave unique venues and spaces into their performances are one of the reasons I return to Anywhere Festival each year, and this show is among one of the best I’ve seen. It may seem obvious to stage a play set in a motel within an actual motel room, but this decision, combined with the naturalistic performance style, blurs the boundaries of reality and fiction until I had to continually remind myself that what I was seeing was not real, and that interfering would be a bad idea. This feeling of absolute belief in the performance is something I’ve not experienced in any other show that prioritizes realism as an important element. But this time, as I was leaving the room, walking past the doors of motel rooms, I found myself thinking that what had been performed tonight, could easily be reality elsewhere in a motel room somewhere nearby.

See this show. You’ll be glad you came.