Adventures of Butt Boy and Tigger

Adventures of Butt Boy and Tigger
By Steven Dawson. Out Cast Theatre. Mechanics Institute Performing Arts Centre (Vic). Director: Steven Dawson. 2 – 13 October, 2012.

Out Cast Theatre, Australia’s longest running theatre collective for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and trans-gender audiences is presenting Adventures of Butt Boy and Tigger as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

Butt Boy and Tigger meet online and begin sharing sexual fantasies in imagined settings ranging from soccer change rooms, a navy ship, 19th century stables and WW1 trenches. When Butt Boy suggests a physical meeting, he destabilisesthe ‘good thing’ on which their connection is based.

One wonders what Out Cast Theatre believes this production adds to the theatre industry, other than a few cheap laughs, and explicit and gratuitous sexual play. Each coupling engages a man in a position of authority with one of servitude. Somewhat predictably, every fantasy also included well-built and generously endowed menfolk. 

Ho-hum, I thought, surely we have moved beyond this by now? But others in the audience affirmed the images with unbridled laughter.

Characters, while entertainingly played by actors Angus Brown (Butt Boy) and Felix Allsop (Tigger), lack depth. We know detailed facts about their caprices, but very little about who these men are. Just as Tigger resists Butt Boy’s desire to move from virtual contact to actual physical intimacy, the audience is held at arms length. Consequently I had no empathy for either character.

After sell-out seasons in Edinburgh, Dublin, Manchester, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth, Out Cast Theatre’s cast and crew will be disappointed last night’s audience filled only a third of the available seats. Definitely fare for a limited audience.

Lucy Graham

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