• Amy Toledano

This Queer House presented by OPIA Collective

Image courtesy of Tara Rooney

What is it?

This Queer House is a play by the OPIA Collective. It is a radical subversion of cultural, gendered norms, and an all round mystical experience. The play is by the award-winning Oakley Flanagan.

What is it about?

A queer couple who inherit a house. They try and renovate it but all hell breaks loose. There’s a lot of mayhem, and it even weaves in elements of Hansel and Gretel, as well a pair of red ballet shoes, a terrifying mask, and a wedding.

How did it make you feel?

Firstly the dynamism and energy of each of the actors hooks you immediately. The OPIA Collective are extremely talented. The pairing of Liv Ello and Humaira Iqbal as the main couple is brilliant. The attraction between them is clear, but as is the anger when they argue. The ability of all three cast members (Liv Ello, Humaira Iqbal and Lucia Young) to shift between characters, be they witches, a dog, a boiler-suit wearer, a conservative traditionalist or Hansel and Gretel, it is absolutely phenomenal.

The use of the space is one of the most impressive elements of the play. The boxes of items that get thrown in anger around the stage, the mirror, and the striking dancing shoes and the wedding at the end of the show. Both the design (Cara Evans) and the movement direction (Maria Koripas) move you like poetry, beautifully supporting Flanagan’s writing.

The story is enchantingly beautiful at times, and at other times heartbreaking, such as when the main couple are driven a part by the temptress who preaches tradition. What shines through is a) the writing, b) every member of the cast’s ability to command the stage.

Oh my, what a beautiful ride of a show!

Anything Else?

Keep an eye on the OPIA Collective, because this is a 5 star show! Also, the play has been in support of Mermaids and Gendered Intelligence.

Scarlett x

This Queer House is playing in the Network Theatre until the 1st March 2020.

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