5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche
Ulverstone Repertory Society
Leven Theatre, Ulverstone
August 15, 2020
2020 has been an unusual and difficult year, especially for theatre. So how wonderful it was to once again be able to step through the doors of a theatre; see a bright and colourful set; sit in a theatre chair (within the socially distanced restrictions) and enjoy a night of slightly camp fun with Ulverstone Rep’s production of 5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche.
As the title suggests, the show centres on 5 “Proper ladies” and their undying love for the egg based french tart. Set in 1956 at the “Susan B Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein Annual Quiche Breakfast,” these 5 women guide us through the initial Meet & Greet; with some audience interaction, and the judging of the “Best Quiche” award, right before things get out of hand. When the door alarm begins to go off, followed by an explosion, we are left with 5 women staring down the end of the world as we know it.
At this point, these women come face to face with themselves, and after a particular hilarious sequence of very erotic quiche eating and a strong serving of female empowerment; admit to themselves and the audience that they are indeed all Lesbians. That is Apart from one, Lulie, who has a revelation of her own that sends shockwaves through the other women; until they realise that the world outside has now changed, and it is up to them to bring it back from the brink.
Directed by Geoff Dobson, this heartfelt, quirky and camp comedy serves up some hilarious moments of sexual innuendo that made the audience cackle and some endearing characters for us to root for.
Laura Watkins’ Ginny was a standout; her slightly naive, a little neurotic but very naughty (especially when eating Quiche), character was eloquently portrayed with a genuine charm and naturalistic ability. She was a nice contrast to the other four actors who were all highly caricature members of 1950’s high society. Michelle Best’s Wren, was the exact version of a 1950’s women’s club president we all envision, and Melissa Wilson’s Dale, was another high energy, enthusiastic and neurotic character, with a troubled past and a desire to set it right, played with a flamboyant exuberance.
All actors were very distinct in there characterisation and it was obvious that had been a focus of the rehearsal process and it was fun to witness. Personally, I would have loved to see the actors take it a little further with their exaggeration of the caricatures, to make a larger contrast between them and the two less flamboyant characters (Ginny and Lulie, played by Maree Brodzinski). I think it would have allowed the satire in the script to have a little more bite. There were moments I felt that scenes were played slightly more serious than they could have been, and I think that made some of the jokes in the script not land as well as they could have.
There were a few moments where lines got a little lost behind sound effects which would have been rectified with playing those scenes more open to the audience, but overall I think that these little things will straighten themselves out as the cast gets more confident as the season progresses.
2020 is really the perfect time for a show like this, a show about finding yourself and your own identity. A show about empowering women to stand together in worship of “The Egg” (The best line of the show – “You do not put meat in a quiche as it will ruin the egg”). It is also a show that highlights the bonds of community and survival through friendship and fellowship.
Historically, all of these groups have had to build their own communities in order to survive; the queer community and all women’s movements; but now in 2020 and beyond, the arts and theatre communities, also have to stick together to survive. And what better way than to support a show about just that. Survival and friendship.
Review by Matt Taylor