New York-based, Australian performer and two-time Griffin Award-winning playwright Glace Chase will finally make her Sydney Theatre Company debut in July with Triple X – a semi-autobiographical trans love story that’s evocative, tender and hilarious.
Originally programmed for the 2020 season before being postponed due to the COVID pandemic, Triple X examines the relationship between straight ‘Wall Street banker bro’ Scotty (Josh McConville – Cloud Nine) and trans performer Dexie (Chase) who begin an affair, just a few months before Scotty is due to marry his ‘perfect’ fiancée.
Chase says it’s incredibly important for a range of queer stories to be told on Australian mainstages so audiences can gain a deeper understanding of other people’s lived experiences.
“Triple X is a unique story and it’s mainly from the point of view of the straight guy who is romantically interested in a trans woman,” Chase said.
“We’ve never seen something (empathetically) explore what he and they would go through, and never on a mainstage. I think the general public still struggles to fully understand the trans experience, but I think they want to. Hopefully this will help. Even more than identity politics, Triple X is a love story between two very conflicted, passionate souls. And who doesn’t love a sexy thwarted romance?!”
At the helm of this production is STC’s Associate Director Paige Rattray (The Beauty Queen of Leenane), who has been working on the show with Glace for over four years. Rattray described Chase as “one of the most entertaining but also profound writers I’ve worked with”.
“This can be a rare combination; often comedy can overtake tragedy or visa versa. Glace rides this wave expertly in Triple X,” Rattray said.
“I think only someone with Glace’s lived experience would be able to navigate that trickiness within this particular narrative. The toxic masculinity, examination of societal ‘norms, gender politics and love; it’s all woven together expertly. Working with Glace on this play has definitely changed the way I think about the world and I feel very lucky.”
Rattray has assembled a stellar supporting cast for the show including Christen O’Leary, Contessa Treffone (The Harp in the South) and Elijah Williams in his STC debut.
Chase said, while the explicit language and candour about all things sex may be confronting for some people, it was important to her the show did not censor her real experiences.
“In my world, people speak and act like this,” she said. “I understand that it might be shocking for some, but you can’t unlink explicit sexuality from the romantic reality of many trans people’s lives. We so often exist in the shadows. I wanted to be brutally honest and make people experience what it’s like from the inside.”
A self-described “trans-queen”, Glace has spent the majority of the last decade in New York where she has established a career in storytelling – hosting various club and comedy nights across the city and running her own tour guide business Dream Queen Tours. As a playwright, Glace has won two Griffin Awards as well as a Queensland Premier’s Literary Award. Triple X was recently a finalist for prestigious international playwriting award, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and was shortlisted for the the Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting in the 2021 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Glace is currently under commission by STC for Drag County.
Tickets for Triple X go on sale to the general public from 9am this Friday, May 28.
Featured : Grace Chase and Josh McConville in ‘Triple X’ coming to the Sydney Theatre Company