Review: Black Faggot

REVIEWED BY EWEN COLEMAN
Last updated 08:55 26/02/2014
Black Faggot play
LIESHA WARD KNOX

KISSING COUSINS: Iaheto Ah Hi, left, and Taofia Pelesasa play a multitude of characters in Black Faggot on being young, gay and Samoan.

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Black Faggot by Victor Roger
directed by Roy Ward, Multinesia (New Zealand)
Hannah Playhouse, till March 1

It is not surprising that Multinesia's production Black Faggot by Victor Rogers is the late-night show at the Hannah Playhouse.

This high energy, outrageously in your face and no- holds-barred show is a series of monologues and duologues canvassing all aspects of gay life.

Much of it could and does apply to any section of New Zealand society, not just island boys, but the humour that the two Samoan actors, Iaheto Ah Hi and Taofia Pelesasa, infuse into the pieces somehow gives the show a special quality.

Although there is nothing new in the material and many in the gay community will identify with most of the scenarios presented, the slick and confident way it is presented makes it appear fresh and original.

Fortunately there is no attempt at a message or pushing of any activist barrow. These are two real guys expertly portraying things that occur all too often in the gay world.

There's the "undercover brother" desperately trying to appear straight, the mum who can't accept her son coming out while the brother knew all along, the Christian boy continually praying to God to make him "un- gay" and the numerous encounters and hook ups that occur, often with hilarious consequences, all given an Island flavour.

Much of the dialogue is raw and not for the faint-hearted but done in a way that is far from offensive. And often through the hilarity are seen serious and telling moments of gay relationships showing pain as well as the pleasure of being gay.

As a team, Ah Hi and Pelesasa work exceptionally well together, one standing aside while the other regales the audience, then effortlessly combining to work together as a well-oiled pair, moving the show along a great pace.

Their manner and style of presentation is engaging and infectious and their ability to morph from one character to another - gay, straight, male, female - makes this a most entertaining piece of theatre.

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