If you’ve never heard the phrase ‘bury your gays’, you’ve been watching too many hetero movies.
Tropes are around in every movie, and there’s an ever-surviving one that results in ending what feels like every lesbian love story by killing one of them tragically — a theme that slots perfectly into the plot of Romeo and Juliet, leading to their combining in the genius new stage production ‘Romeo is Not the Only Fruit’.
Flagging themselves as ‘the electro-pop lesbian musical Australia deserves’, ‘Romeo is Not the Only Fruit’ is led by three narrative characters — think the Muses from Hercules, but heaps gayer — trying to stop the death of yet another doomed queer couple.
Set to a fantastical set of original tunes, the five-person cast plays a whole heap of different characters. The only two consistent roles are Juliet and Darcy, one desperate to follow her dreams, the other running away from a trail of dead lesbians behind her. The play makes use of minimal props and simple set changes, and the comedy sits as much in the relatability as the punch lines — the joy of having something created for you as an audience is something not common for the queer community.
Every punchline was perfect, with some needing an extended break before the play could continue because the audience couldn’t stop their laughter. A highlight was Juliet’s family holding a hilarious race-based interrogation towards Darcy — including flawless choreography. If you’re keen for a sneak peek, they have a preview up here. It’s hard not to feel ridiculously called out when you realise you’ve lived half the stereotypes in the play (performance art in a milk crate filled warehouse, bubble tea, snapping at spoken word — oh god, I’m so unoriginal.)
‘Romeo Is Not The Only Fruit’ goes through and mocks every trope used to kill lesbian lovers in the media, walking a line between comedy and social commentary, and making a literal song and dance out of it. It had the audience flipping between chest-grabbing feelings, whispers of agreeance, and uproarious laughter. It was a joyous night, and one of the most original and magnificent productions I’ve ever seen at MICF.
We’re in a post-postal survey world, and we need more Shakespearean musicals about clever queers falling in love, to a hilarious script and brilliant soundtrack.
Jasmin Ashton is a marketer and freelance writer in love with music, comedy and all things queer. Follow them at @Jasmanna