REVIEW: Snake/Bad Adam @ Fringe

Words by: Tahlia Sanders

 I saw Snake/Bad Adam at The Blue Room Theatre last night and I still don’t feel ready to discuss, or even fully comprehend, what I experienced. I can’t tell if that’s a good or a bad thing.

The performance had set out to explore homosexual eroticism in a double bill format. Prior to viewing the show I had been promised “a wet dream in two parts.” I went in expecting seduction but realised very quickly that the show was not designed for the audience’s pleasure. It was confronting and painfully intimate. It felt a little self-indulgent on the part of creator, Dosh Luckwell, but I was glad to have the opportunity to observe his catharsis.

Part one of the performance, “Bad Adam”, was a poetry-based confessional. It delved deep into the grit of superficial sexual encounters and sex clubs. In this section, Luckwell primarily relied upon his uncomfortably lecherous words to fuel the audience’s imagination and on the, perhaps overused, apple motif to make meaning. The sense of tension primarily crafted through implicit sensuality in this part allowed the occasional, obscene interruptions of the frighteningly carnal wolf-man (played by iconic local drag performer Stryker Meyer in a hirsute, phallus-wielding bodysuit, and leather pants) to punctuate and define the viewers’ experience.

For me, it was difficult to find distinction between the first and second parts of the performance. There didn’t seem to be a point in separating them. Upon close analysis though, I managed to understand the subtle difference. Where “Bad Adam” offered a humanistic look at sexual interactions and relationships, part two: “Snake”, used the performers as tools to explore the more basal, sometimes ugly, elements of sexual nature. My favourite part of the entire show took place in this half, when Luckwell’s collaborator Jay Robinson delivered a spectacularly erotic dance performance.

I commend Luckwell and his fellow performers for not attempting to use the performance to define gay sexuality. They addressed it head on and forced the audience to confront it but never do they profess to provide answers. Nor do they attempt to remove sex from the other human experiences it often accompanies: love, validation and exploitation. Where conventional mediums typically try to fit the peg of homosexuality into a heterosexual-relationship-shaped hole, this performance celebrates and is brutally honest about the unique homosexual experience.

I can’t say for sure whether I enjoyed Snake/Bad Adam but it certainly worked to provoke thought and conversation, making it a valuable performance to experience.