Review | Top quality improv cuts close to the bone in ‘YAAAS KWEEN’

YAAAS KWEEN | Girls School | til Feb 13 | ★ ★ ★ ★ 

I must admit, I was a little nervous about attending YAAAS KWEEN as a white person. I was expecting discomfort and ready to embrace it, but unsure as to exactly how much discomfort there would be. I wasn’t disappointed – my white privilege was called out in the first moments of the show and held there throughout.

However! The laughs I had from the production genius, at my own expense, and while relating with all the other intersections I connect with left me feeling suitably read, but also like I had had a good laugh. There were lots of daft gags and many en pointe cultural references. The company balanced a distinctly Australian experience with a connection to the world and recognised (always humorously) the impact of global events on Australian life.

I don’t want to give too much away as the sketches were really clever, and I don’t want to ruin any punchlines. The show took on politics, sexuality, gender, POC culture from First Nations people, Asia, Africa and beyond. It called out colonialism, the patriarchy, ignorance, racial stereotypes, homophobia, racism, global warming… Literally no one was safe from their gaze and like all great improv, cut close to the bone, but never hit an artery.

I have been left with a lasting impression of ‘no they didn’t, oh yes they did’ with a cheeky glint and an aftertaste of truth. It was clever to have the first sketch closed, allowing no latecomers, because it helped to settle the audience into the mood. Shame about the loud aircon unit as the performers had to compete with that but on the whole, the performance was engaging and well executed.

I would recommend YAAAS KWEEN to everyone, no matter what your background. You will no doubt connect with something (even straight white men), learn something and have a good laugh.

See YAAAS KWEEN until Sunday Feb 13. For tickets and more information, head to fringeworld.com.au

Dr Kerry Manera is a psychologist working for, with and within the queer community. She is also a musician and a parent. She loves to watch anything live and misses the drag queens of East London, where she used to live.

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