a femme fantasia

— REVIEW of ‘186,000’ | The Australian

186,000 | Review

Chris Boyd | The Australian
Dec 13, 2016

It’s all in the light in the eyes in Kerith Manderson-Galvin’s femme fantasia 186000 (MKA at the Richmond Theatrette, Melbourne, until Saturday).

Three young adults, carving queer identities, deal with the world around them: Trelawney Edgar, pictured, has a practised death stare at odds with her soft centre; Shamita Sivabalan has a cautious but weary optimism in her glance; and Harvey Zielinski squints at the world with an infinitely wise cowboy twinkle.

Manderson-Galvin (who initially appears as a sleepwalker, dreaming up a safe queer space) slows time to an idle, the paradox of light speed. She creates a bubble of alt-reality in which defences are unnecessary. The worst thing that happens in this world is a well-meaning parent clumsily asking her kid if she is identifying as queer.

186000 is theatre’s answer to Safe Schools. It’s a life-affirming show for teens and young adults who haven’t decided on a letter from the LGBTI alphabet.

“A femme fantasia.”