Underground

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Sometimes it’s a great pleasure to see a closing night of a play. The actors are buzzed, there’s a sense of tested and tried and yet – unlike mid run, the performers are aware that they need hold nothing in reserve. It’s the end. You – lazy audience that you are – need only sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labours.

You get the best of them.

Other times, you feel a sense of chagrin that you haven’t come early enough in the run to encourage others to follow suit, because the play you just saw wasn’t just rollicking and enjoyable, it was equal parts kitschy and heartfelt, poignant and heartbreaking, beat boxing and whale song. You were tapping your feet, eating your popcorn, and feeling the love in a tale of coconut princesses, rafts gone wrong, winter to winter romances, underground acceptance and disco ball delight.

You’re not quite sure what happened or why, but you felt amazing.

Underground – metro arts. A Korean Australian theatrical production of love, queer ukulele and free watermelon.

I almost forgot that I was in Brisbane – Relishing the diverse audience: straight, queer, Korean, Australian, old and young, I felt heartened to be a part of an interesting community where such stories were told.

The world felt momentarily larger and coloured kaleidoscopic and beautiful.

Afterwards, I went to the bathroom.

While waiting my turn, I stood listening to a scary drunk circle of men and women discussing anal rape, or more explicitly, the circumstances under which they would, or would not submit to the “gay” sex act. Fear of rape is – for me at least – a pretty universal thing, however, there was something disturbingly homophobic and scary, and kind of oblivious to the fearful threat they themselves appeared to pose to those waiting to use the facilities.

The world felt momentarily smaller and darker and bleak.

But only momentarily.

By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.

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