As Midsumma draws to a close, Ursula Martinez’s ‘Free Admission’ makes sure the annual queer festival doesn’t end quietly. I must admit I was guilty in the past of seeing Midsumma as a one-day carnival and pride event, but with shows like ‘Free Admission’, who could ignore its massive arts program?
Ursula Martinez is an Olivier Award-winning, one woman tour-de-force and self-described ‘red hankie lady’ (if you want to know what that means go ahead and google it, maybe wait until after work though!). Her current performance piece ‘Free Admission’ progresses through the building of an actual brick wall between herself and the audience while reflecting upon her childhood, social-media fandom and other personal high and low points.
Martinez possesses a certain charm, even when discussing dirty bum-holes, that effortlessly carries her crass dialog into some of the harder hitting points of the performance. The piece gains momentum as Martinez thinks us through the insanity of day to day life when mixed with the anxieties of our current political and social climates.
The world needs people like Martinez who are willing to push their art into public spaces, disrupting order and defending our freedoms all while being downright hilarious. Having the ability to break the wall before it’s even built is easily one of the strongest parts of her performance. The pace is set well and there is never a dull moment across the short hour that will stay with you long after the curtain closes.
Midsumma is wrapping up over the next week, so make sure you check out the last days of what’s on offer. ‘Free Admission’ is running until Sunday and there are still some tickets available to this show that’s not to be missed!
Brenton Spink is a social Melburnian who loves a good feed, drink, dance, and other related shenanigans. Find him on Instagram at @SoSpinky.
Ursula Martinez’s ‘Free Admission’ runs 31 Jan to 5 February 2017 at Arts Centre Melbourne. Buy tickets now.
The venue is accessible.