Review | Tres Masc? Tres ordinaire

Tres Masc? | Connections Nightclub | til Feb 12th | ★ ★ ★ ½ 

I wish my gym was as fabulous as the one that Cougar Morrison constructs on the Connections stage. Tres Masc is a drag show which set out to examine masculinity and sexuality, and whilst the view provided is a fairly limited one at times, the show was overall pretty enjoyable.

The man can’t lip sync, but boy can he sing. Morrison is at his best when the more generic comedic drag show gives way to sensitive and powerful vocals that set him apart from other queens in Perth. He begins at the former, but honestly where he ends up is worth waiting for.

Those powerful moments are lessened by short and overused quips that are thrown in against the pacing, and sections that are lip synced. Morrison doesn’t seem to be able to keep up with the quick pace of some of his songs, and his performance suffers for it.

And he shouldn’t need to. He’s talented enough to diverge from what I would consider generic drag to something more independent and I would encourage him to base his shows more around those excellent singing talents.

The sexist language also felt very uncomfortable. I don’t know many situations that I would feel incredibly good about a performer encouraging his audience to yell ‘bitch’ up at him, and this isn’t one of them. I could feel the rest of the audience squirm.

That isn’t to say Tres Masc isn’t funny. Morrison has some exceptional lines which had me spraying my drink into the over permed hair of the person in front of me. One particular line about dehydration (I won’t spoil it for you) was enough for me to want to write the whole show up as exceptional.

Morrison is beautiful on stage. Makeup perfect, costumes excellent and always exciting. Not to mention his ability to dance in those heels will never cease to amaze.

On the back up dancers, they were also spectacular. Macho man to electric swing, they were skilled and well choreographed, with incredible outfits (that holds for Morrison too) and high energy. They almost deserved their own show, an absolute highlight of the evening.

An unfortunate side note of Tres Masc is that it gave a sense of the drag community in Perth as cliquey and inaccessible. The audience interactions were incredibly insular: he only talked to his friends in the crowd. Whilst this is a lot of fun for Wednesday night Drag Factory, it’s a pretty negative point at a Fringe shows which might act as a point of first contact with drag for some people.

Overall, the show could do with some work which I think would be realised by focusing on personal artistic vision instead of worrying about his position within the drag community. Cougar should set his sights high and stick to his (admittedly twinky) guns.

Annique Cockerill

Tres Masc is on until the 12th. Tickets are available from the Fringe World website.

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