Hey there Guys,
Last night I had the pleasure of attending a preview of Vic Bears’ exciting addition to their Midsumma lineup, Man Boobs.
Released as part of Vic Bears’ commitment to a creative space for the bear community, there are opportunities for expression and representation through the visual and performing arts.
As a pilot program Vic Bears’ committee man Jack Chapman has hit the stage running, directing and producing Man Boobs, his first show. To quote the Vic Bears’ website:
Man Boobs is a one-act story of two men about to embark on a night of passion until issues of obesity and self-esteem overpower their sexual and emotional connection. After coming home from their fourth date, Marty (Raymond Lee) invites himself up to Spence’s (Phil Webster) apartment for a nightcap. Following various attempts by Marty to get Spence into bed, Spence keeps on stalling. Will Marty be able to get Spence’s clothes peeled off, or will he unintentionally get Spence to reveal something far more intimate than his naked body?
Not quite the jiggling, hi-energy romp I was initally expecting 🙂
Set in a Fitzroy studio apartment, Jack and his team have transformed the upper level of a local cafe into a very realistic and somewhat familiar apartment, complete with a milk crate bed, empty take away containers and clothing strewn throughout the room.
The audience is there right in front of the action in an almost voyeuristic position as the play unfolds. Never feeling comfortable with the “fourth wall” I opted for a safe back seat row.
Opening as a 4th night stand, a somewhat intoxicated Marty (Raymond Lee) is in the throws of seducing Spence (Phil Webster). As the audience we get to watch the backwards and forwards so common in the gay scene including the frustrations when things are not quite going to plan.
What started as a bit of slap and tickle quickly turns to palpable discomfort and pain as issues of body image, trust and past sexual abuse surface.
While I don’t want to spoil the plot may I suggest Jack’s kind offer of “one of Spence’s tissues from beside the bed”.
For director Jack I have to offer a heart felt congratulations. He and his team have done an amazing job in creating a wonderful introduction of the arts to the bear scene in Melbourne.
Both Raymond and Phil have tackled their roles very well. Realizing the full depth of both very complex characters their work left me with that uneasy feeling of “man, this is probably not the only story like this in our community.”
The talent within Vic Bears is obvious and I hope this encourages more productions for the future.
As a special treat for The Healthy Bear readers Phil very kindly agreed to join me for a chat about the play, his process of creating the character and some of the issues highlighted as part of watching Man Boobs.
*Spoiler Alert* There are a few plot elements discussed in this interview.
Click the play button to listen:
Man Boobs tickets are available for Thursday 19th, Friday 20th and 2 shows Saturday the 21st of January.
You can order your tickets via the Midsumma website by clicking here.
Yours in good health.