Twisting genre and metaphor with themes of consent and sexuality, Brodie John presents Burlesque by Force in a world premiere season at the Nexus Arts Centre from 15 November as part of the 2017 Feast Festival.
Part true story, part metaphor, part cabaret, part poetry, Burlesque by Force shares stories of consent, sexual trauma, strength and silence-breaking that have been the personal experience of the performer. Using these stories, Adelaide-born theatre-maker Brodie John, breaks down the taboos surrounding these issues of violence and prejudice that plague the queer community and the world at large.
While shaping his career supporting independent theatre companies in Adelaide Fringe Festivals, his coming of age was overcome by rape and assault. Now nearly ten years later, Brodie is ready to tell the story in an effort to end stigma for others who’ve experienced trauma.
“If I was ever going to do this, it had to be home in Adelaide,” said Brodie. “A work this personal and ambitious could only be fully realised where it all began.”
Brodie spoke on consent at the 2016 Australian Homosexual Histories Conference – which will be held in Adelaide again this year. Continuing the discussion about consent in the community, Brodie will reflect on how his previous presentation was transformed into Burlesque by Force.
“There was so much tension and debate in that room,” said Brodie. “Discussions about this issue are mostly within discussions on feminism, and about women. But we all know rape and sexual assault impacts everyone, either directly or collaterally. That includes men, and not just gay men. We all deserve to be freed from those stigmas.”
“It’s important to put this on the agenda now, to erase prejudice and start devising solutions. The fight for marriage equality, and to some degree Safe Schools, has opened up unprecedented openness and opportunities for discussion.”
Directing and co-devising the work is Marissa Bennett, fresh off working with Bell Shakespeare in Sydney. “It was important to me that anything autobiographical have a diverse perspective, and Marissa’s range and depth has given the work a bravery and an empathy I couldn’t have imagined.”
Creators: Brodie John & Marissa Bennett Design: Stephen Moylan
Burlesque by Force
Nexus Arts Centre, Corner North Terrace and Morphett Street, Adelaide
Season: 15 – 18 November 2017
Information and Bookings: www.feast.org.au
Image: Burlesque by Force – photo by Adrian Carmody