Adelaide Fringe 2019: Baby Bi Bi Bi

Review by Gemma Thorne

Venue: Cabaret Room at The Crown and Sceptre Hotel

When: 2nd March

Cost: $20-$25

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Baby BI BI BI. Image via. Adelaide Fringe

Well, that was everything I needed when I was in high school…and if I’m really honest to my queer heart…everything I needed now!

When I walked into the venue, I walked into fluorescent lighting and a sporadic rainbow of hushed mood colours that danced upon the tables. Then I was taken aback… caught off guard by the myriad of penises, vaginas and boobs before me. I fought off the urge to regress into memories of sex ed back in high school. Fashioned before me was a Set Design of sexual biology, and I knew for sure there would be no dancing around the topic tonight.

This magnificent set design I later discovered was referred to as “the portable closet,” something I relate to often as I find myself in situations where hairdressers ask me how my love life is going, or talking to family friends who have known me since I was 6. “The portable closet” is the well-known reality of a bi-sexual woman, especially a femme-presenting woman; and damn was I happy that it was finally not only being talked about, but sung about.

What ensued was a magnificent catharsis of finding a community through validating lyrics like “can’t pick a side, trust us we’ve tried!”, and “crippling fear that we’re not queer enough.” We can’t forget the hilarious, “I’ve pierced my septum, how much lower do I need to go until people stop questioning if I’m straight?”

Some lines are sung, some rhymed, with tongue-in-cheek lyrics and cheery music. Most of the time, comic cabaret can get away with falling short on the musical side, but these three strong powerful women are accomplished performers, bearing their hearts before us while their vocal chords clearly stand up to the battle.

Comic moments unfold in a night that I discovered to be both life affirming and life changing in my own queer journey and damn were they funny, naughty and quick, These sexual references were what I needed back in high school when none of the dirty jokes related to me just right.

It was as though these women had hilarious insight into our own journeys referencing “the boy you date in first year uni who studies law… and commerce… whose father was a lawyer. When you tell him you’re bi-sexual, he says he doesn’t care if you get with women- but he’d hell-be-jealous if you got with a man.” At this point my friend erupted in a thigh-slapping laugh while I had to remember how to breathe again. These women can certainly drag the emotion from you, like only a best friend can.

On a more serious note, poignant moments that are less shiny and bright and are the reality of the queer community are also presented on this platter littered with laughs. Coming out stories that punch you in the gut and painful, familiar stereotypes of being bi-sexual such as being “attention-seeking” or a “horny bombshell” make you want to simultaneously cry and stand on your feet and cheer. However, when it comes to the end it is comforting to be reminded that “when the world seems big and scary, remember bigots only fuck in missionary.

So Flesh Coloured Panties’ Productions, thank you for your show! For regardless of what anyone says, the queer community in Adelaide is not big enough and it can be really easy to feel really alone. And to readers of On Dit I say, even if you are “only a little bit gay,” Baby Bi Bi Bi is a show you need to see.

Written by

Adelaide University student magazine since 1932. Edited by Nicholas Birchall, Felix Eldridge, Taylor Fernandez and Larisa Forgac. Email us at onditmag@gmail.com

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