Three lesbians and a pianist appear on stage, all dressed in black. Within the first 10 minutes, Britney Spears’ “Toxic” has been played and we’ve learnt the dating dynamics of the performers on stage. The audience is happily knee-deep in this very queer, and very charming, storytelling experience.
Lesbian Love Stories is true to its name: it’s a series of vignettes about lesbian love, told between songs that, as a collection, could soundtrack a night at Adelaide queer venue Mary’s Poppin: everything from Lou Bega’s “Mambo #5” to Celine Dion’s “Taking Chances”, ZZ Top’s “She’s a Heartbreaker” to the Divinyls’ “I Touch Myself”.
The stories are told through a spoken-word format and are all real experiences from either the lesbians on stage, or from around the world. Authenticity bleeds into this production not only because of this fact – and the inclusion of touchstones of Tinder, “Dolly Doctor”, and The L Word – but also due to the kindness and comedic flare with which they are told.
The anonymity of these stories also has impact on many levels; for one, it allows audiences to see themselves in every tale, as these are often shared experiences. It is also a reminder that we continue to live in a world where it is not safe for everyone to be open and proud about their sexuality. It is a credit to Natasha Veselinovic’s writing, and the performances from Veselinovic herself, along with Chloe Rose Taylor and Ruby Clark, that we don’t need to know the owners of the stories to connect with them.
Taylor, Clark and Veselinovic share a slick and witty chemistry, and their vocals are rich and powerful. Other talents are also showcased, with a violin solo from Clark that steals the show.
The lesbians are accompanied by music director Luke Volker on the piano, and he brilliantly brings the cabaret genre to the fore.
Lesbian Love Stories carves out a space for the juiciest, most heartwarming and heartbreaking of stories, which for so long have been lived out in secret. Now, these three lesbians have created a platform to tell these stories with pride.
Lesbian Love Stories was performed at Woodville Town Hall as part of Feast Festival, which continues until November 19.
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