Truth in advertising, the set of THE BED PARTY is a bloody big bed, big enough for a quintet of quilt comrades to congregate for a party of polemics and queer politic.
It’s the boudoir of Jasmine and Finn, but it becomes the platform for their flatmates to trundle out their troubles and woes.
First to claim the cot, in a coitus interruptus moment, is Tara, equivocal and prevaricating in her sexuality, insisting she is bi, but bemoaning the fact that blokes abuse her. She is anxious to debrief about her recent dud date, which incenses Jasmine to the point of furore.
Into the fray comes Bri, former flatmate, who has just fled her new lover, Kelly, over issues of procreation. Kelly craves parenthood which is anathema to Bri.
Fifth to hit the hay is newbie flatmate, George, a free and breezy French femme who seems unencumbered of the anxieties that beset her bedfellows.
In this court of the cot, writer director Sophia Davidson Gluyas expresses a sack full of ideas – political, cultural, societal and personal – argument augmented by anger, but tempered by playfulness.
The cast is made up of seasoned and fledgling performers, but where technique and stagecraft lapse, the slack is picked up by an effervescence of presence and commitment.
Stella North’s costume and set design is exemplary, functional to the space but also furnishing a key part of the narrative.
The book and film, The Godfather, popularised the term “going to the mattresses” as a euphemism for going to war. THE BED PARTY has a clutch of women going to the mattress bearing witness to the battleground of being seen and being heard.
A defining line in the play is Bri’s rapprochement of Kelly: “You cast me without a brief and I don’t want the role”.
THE BED PARTY is Sophia Davidson Gluyas’s first theatre work to be produced on stage and was earlier part of the Freshworks programme at Old 505. Its inaugural success and resonance with audiences has culminated in a three week season in its own right at the Old 505, a testament to both the work and the programme.
THE BED PARTY plays Tuesday – Saturday 8pm at Old 505. Eliza Street Newtown