Adelaide Fringe regulars will be familiar with Red Bastard, the “infamous buffoon” with the distinctive bulging red onesie and white face paint.
Created by British performer, writer and director Eric Davis, he’s a character that fuses theatre, clowning and social psychology in performances that are both hilarious and confronting.
In Lie With Me, which will be presented in Gluttony from February 16, he turns his attention to “love, lust, fear and sexual freedom, and how society imposes a strict code that relationships old and new feel bound to follow”.
At previous shows, we’re told, people have proposed marriage and confessed to affairs; one man called a sister he hadn’t spoken to in eight years, and another quit his job.
Here, Red Bastard confesses all …
What prompted you to create a show about love and lies? Is it personal?
Whaaaaaaaaaat? Oh no. It’s not about me. No no no no no no no. It’s all about you. Yes. You. In no way does my art reveal anything personal about myself. Am I lying? You’ll have to see to find out.
Relationship codes, lust, fidelity, betrayal … you’re venturing into some taboo territory there. What kind of relationship “rules” do you encourage your audience to question?
Why not all of them? Why be blindly bound by the rules of love, when in fact people who love should find the rules that make love as free as possible?
What do you think are the worst lies we tell our lovers?
I’ll tell you the worst one, but first you have to tell me which lies you tell.
Is it true that someone confessed to having an affair during one of your shows?
More than one. It was fascinating. Do. Not. Miss. That.
What other audience revelations and responses has Lie with Me provoked?
Well, I received an email from someone who discovered at the show that her partner was cheating on her. Something he did during the show gave him away. But they are both happier for it.
Here’s the thing. The show is about love. So you can’t avoid talking about cheating. Have you cheated? Have you been cheated on? How free is your love? Let’s find out.
You’ve described the show as “morally depraved” and reviewers have used terms like “provocative”, “deliciously rude”, “unforgiving” and “frightening? So who should go and who should stay away?
Hmm. Who should stay away? if you’re puking drunk or you can’t shut up, go buy a ticket to the Beer Garden. If you’re up for something fun, funny, thought-provoking, and unexpected that you’ll be talking about for hours after, this is the show for you. It might even change the way you love.
It’s a few years since you were last at Adelaide Fringe – how do you feel about returning back Down Under?
I want you to know this. Even though I’ve been with others. I love you Adelaide. I truly love you.
Red Bastard: Lie With Me will be in the Parasol Lounge at Gluttony from February 16 until March 18 as part of the Adelaide Fringe. See more Fringe stories here.
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