What if all high school conflict and angst was solved through a bit of song and dance?
Maybe it would of made things a lot more bearable or ten times worse, depending on your love of musicals. In reviewing Bare: A Pop Opera, I run the risk of being a tiny bit biased, as I absolutely LOVE musicals. Especially when they include paper mâché penises and sassy gospel performances by Virgin Mary and Bare delivered all that and much more.
Performed by the extremely talented actors and crew over at Monash Uni Student Theatre (MUST), the story follows Peter (Stephen Amos) and Jason (Fraser Mitchell) as they battle out their ill-fated love affair in the confines of a catholic boarding school whilst also dealing with issues of identity, sexuality and religion. Set with the task of performing Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” the characters battle through common teenage problems such as heartbreak, unrequited love, drug use and body image that almost any one in the audience can relate to on some level. A highlight of the show is when Jason’s sister Nadia (Emma Legg) performs “Spring,” casually dropping in the verse “Mother Nature is a turd, she can shove flowers up her ass.” Each member of the MUST cast delivers their lines with the passion reserved only for tortured, trapped high school students and does it in a spectacular fashion that is set to blow the audience away. Paired with a rich, diverse soundtrack, the tale told extends far beyond the characters and aims to reach out to audiences and challenges current attitudes and discourse about youth and LGBTQIA rights that gives a voice to those that are usually silenced by mainstream media. In saying that, bare is also wildly entertaining and MUST delivers a performance that is sassy, bold and full of heart.
Bare: A Pop Opera runs from the August 27 to September 12. Tickets are available from MSA reception or online.