And again I chose a Fringe show — in this case, ‘A Bee’s Dick Away’ — predominantly because I liked the title (but also because of its promise of sharp social commentary). I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but hey, it’s been working for me so far!
In this performance actress Harper Campbell takes on the rather loaded topics of abortion and disability. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this and thought that maybe it was going to be a clever stand-up act. Instead Campbell surprised me with the first scene set in a schoolgirl’s bedroom, with the actress reflecting on her mother’s choices regarding family planning and growing up with an autistic brother.
Considering the heaviness of topics discussed in this show, Campbell delivers a glimpse into the life of first a teenager and later a young woman with surprising lightness and sharp wit. I particularly enjoyed her reflections on womanhood and the social condemnation of those who choose to not have children. After all, as provocatively stated by Campbell, isn’t reproduction a woman’s only worth? This really struck a chord with me as it is often a topic amongst friends who, like me, are intent to live happily ever after in meaningful relationships that won’t result in the pitter-patter of tiny feet.
Overall I have to say that I take my hat off to this young lady. Her acting was believable and she guided her audience effortlessly through one of the most controversial topics of our time. She balances the views of both sides of the conversation, but also firmly demonstrates beliefs that are usually taboo and hushed up in western society.
There are still a few shows left, so make sure to head over to the beautiful Gasworks in Albert Park and check out ‘A Bee’s Dick Away’.
Claudia B. is a German/Kiwi graphic designer and illustrator who has been living and working in Melbourne for the last four years. She enjoys a good glass of whiskey and the occasional pole dancing class.
‘A Bee’s Dick Away’ runs 22-26 September at Gasworks – The Clover Club.