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Family Can Be a Bitch
Nick Sinclair and Jasper Lee-Lindsay perform in Bitch. Image by Robert Miniter
Bitch by Wayne Tunks, currently playing at the Depot Theatre, is a hilariously gritty and raw portrayal of the dysfunctional Post family; featuring strong realistic characters, delivering smart witty dialogue.
There's the racist, homophobic, and alcoholic grandmother, Julie Post, living under the same roof as her gay grandson, Clint Post who has an Asian boyfriend, Reid.
Clint's twin sister Emma, is on the rampage, dumped by her bastard boyfriend Matt, who had insisted on treating her like his favourite porn star treats women, with perverse disrespect and disdain.
Robyn (the twins' mother) works in a high-end retail fashion boutique who's manager is a bitch, until she meets Robyn's single brother Jimmy.
Jimmy is the uncle that holds the family together, bumbling along trying to escape from his abuse as a teen and building up the courage to get back into the dating game.
The Post family has someone we all know, perhaps are even related to but prefer not to openly admit. Bitch displays an intimate vision of a real suburban family.
Dramatic scenes in Bitch by Wayne Tunks. Images by Robert Miniter.
Bitch portrays the kind of modern family that should be on television instead of the Instagram guise of current reality TV. But with its frequent swearing, there's a reason why Bitch works best as a play, because if it was on television, the entire show would be bleeped out.
What I loved about Bitch was its exceptional casting. Each character seemed like they were just being themselves. It was easy to forget this was all scripted. Testimony to Wayne's expertly crafted script.
The one-liners provide guilty laughs, for anywhere else, they'd be ruled out as too politically insensitive. Such as when Emma is complaining about sexist double standards and Robyn responds with "yeah but the way he's doing it, he can't get pregnant," when comparing the sex lives of her gay son versus her teen daughter."
The music played between each scene matched the theme of the play with every song featuring "Bitch" in the lyrics which was a nice touch.
Claire Johnston performs as Emma Post in Bitch. Image by Robert Miniter.
It was easy to feel emotionally drawn to the characters as they faced life's ups and downs, challenges made more difficult with their complicated and conflict-filled home life. The two acts were very different in tone and content. Taking the audience from deep belly laughs to held breaths and teary eyes.
What Bitch did brilliantly was show a realistic snapshot of Australian life, something commercial media would be too afraid to reveal. Hopefully this play is expanded beyond its short run in a small suburban theatre as I see this play as gaining huge popularity, resonating with audiences Australia wide.
Emma Louise & Wayne Tunks perform in Bitch at the Depot Theatre. Image by Robert Miniter.
Having Wayne Tunks write, direct and star in Bitch meant creative control was kept to his end vision, resulting in a powerful play that is a fantastic night of entertainment.
Bitch is a punchy piece of theatre about the family we hate to admit we're related to, or actually are.
Bitch plays at 8pm Wednesday - Saturday and at 5pm on Sunday, until 17 June 2017.
Depot Theatre is licenced and included a snack bar with ice-creams, chocolates and chips. It was a perfect sized theatre for this production offering a cosy, intimate view with comfortable seating.
Depot Theatre is at 142 Addison Road Marrickville. As you drive in, the theatre is to the left of the boom gate, near the public toilets.
The car park immediately in front of the theatre fills up quickly but there is further parking in the middle of the Addison Road community complex.