Millicent “Mim” Sarre in purple, Jemma Allen in blue and Rosie Russell in pink are bisexual intellectuals, each dressed to represent a third of the bisexual flag – which Mim will go on to slander later in the show for shackling them with the ugliest shades of those colours. 

The opening number is an EDM track detailing the stereotype that bisexuals cannot sit in chairs properly and includes overt references to the iconic 2000 comedy film Bring It On and the musical Six. Both are favourites among bisexuals because, although they’re not necessarily queer productions, they centre queer-coded characters and camp elements. 

This is a fantastic set-up to the show because it outlines its belief system in two simple messages: we can laugh at ourselves, and we can simultaneously think critically about pop culture and enjoy it. 

A PowerPoint projected behind the women is simple but vibrant, supporting the points made in this comedy cabaret through definitions, lyrics for audiences to sing along, and even a Duolingo challenge.

Each performer has an electric connection with the audience; Russell, in particular, keeps up improvised banter and lights up at the human connection built within the show. The audience participation segment is managed well, with bisexual bingo allowing those with audience-participation anxiety to quietly sit down early on if they don’t want to claim their title. The winner is crowned with a glittery cowboy hat which lights up at different points throughout the performance. 

From the get-go, audience members are enthralled by effortless vocal performances and high energy from the trio. Sarre is a vocal standout, with her silky range on show in her disdainful ballad about the bisexual flag. The original score, co-written by Allen, Russell and Sarre, is a nod to their musical-theatre roots and spans genres. They detail the tendency of bisexual women to gravitate towards effeminate male partners in the Irish folk track, “An Ode to My Lesbian Boyfriend” – performed with impressive Irish accents. 

Beyond the stereotypes, they draw attention to issues like vaginismus, which affects two of the three performers. In a sultry rap, Allen and Russell detail how to bring up the condition with new partners with effortless humour. This brings us nicely into the Euro-trash techno bop “Semi-Asexual Slut Era” with camp depictions of universally relatable conversations between women in a German club bathroom. 

Bisexual Intellectuals is queer joy; pure silliness with heart, and the trio’s answer to society, media and pop culture’s bisexual erasure and focus on queer tragedy. It applies fresh thinking on passing memeable stereotypes and is a refreshing, multi-layered presentation that will leave you laughing.

Bisexual Intellectuals is playing at the Kingfisher at Gluttony until February 25.

Read more 2024 Adelaide Fringe coverage here on InReview.

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