Brisbane Festival Review: Bitch: The Origin of the Female Species is filled with masterful performances

Edith Podesta truly writes from all the world’s perspective. The parts of the world that are crying, the parts that are growing, even the parts that are howling.

A modest plot that even we feel potentially gives too much away in the blurb seems innocent, heartwarming perhaps. Very David Williamson in design, but not even close in delivery. Without using that F word so many people unfortunately find dirty (if unsure, it starts with F and rhymes with catechism) this play plays a role reversal, a teasing testing act of banter, wit and mere disappointment in the world around us.

What really is the origin of woman after all? And if Eve truly took the Fruit of Knowledge, after all that squabbling and speculation, what kind of God, I ask, willfully wants to withhold knowledge from his children in the garden? That’s just negligent parenting if you ask me.

But we haven’t even got to the real bite of the play. Drawing on the symbolism of light and dark, Bitch truly captures the feeling with the lighting in this show. Eerie black holes growing bigger and bigger, astral diagrams bordering on acid trips, it has it all. After all canines only see in black and white isn’t this true?

A pastiche of themes are visited and revisited in this performance. How we treat the elderly, friends and family with disabilities, and the merely disadvantaged who can’t talk. How we expect of men to do so as men, and women as well.

Ultimately, it’s the emotive performances of Edith Podesta, Helmut Bakaitis and Merlynn Tong that make this show what it is. Dry eyes were always over-rated anyway. A conviction delivered by some of the best Australian talent out there, and an awkward, almost unconvinced feeling they weren’t acting at all. That’s what we won’t admit we want from a show.

Running at The Loft until 23rd of September, Bitch takes us through the corridors of love and loneliness and we’d love to see you walk through them too. Grab tickets to the show HERE.

The reviewer attended the performance on 20th September.


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