Midsumma Festival is currently underway, and the city is filled with a sense of freedom and a hope that same sex marriage is not too far away. The violent events of the many unsolved cases of missing gay men from Sydney’s Northern Beaches in the 80s and 90s seems like a lifetime ago. It’s easy to forget the struggles of the past, and that’s exactly why shows like ‘Member’ at La Mama Theatre remain an important part of the queer arts.
This one-man show, written and performed by Ben Noble, is not an easy one to swallow. It follows the life of Corey, growing up around Manly. He’s influenced by the wrong crowd and swept into regretful events that will mark his life forever. ‘Member’ will take you to uncomfortable places as we contemplate the minds of participants in the bashings and murders that took place some three decades ago.
Violence towards and within our community is still an important issue to dwell upon. It may feel as though we feel we are past these dark days, but events like the posters that recently appeared on Chapel Street promoting violence against gay men are a harsh reminder that it still remains to this day.
‘Member’ is highly recommended viewing, and Ben Noble is captivating in this performance. Some viewers may find some themes disturbing, but it is rewarding thought.
Make sure you get down to check out this and many of the other shows on at La Mama as part of Midsumma Festival. It’s a venue so full of history and seeing a part of Melbourne’s rich arts scene there needs to be experienced.
Brenton Spink is a social Melburnian who loves a good feed, drink, dance, and other related shenanigans. Find him on Twitter at @SoSpinky.