Diva Wars – Sydney Fringe (Theatre Review)
Sydney Fringe Festival at The New Theatre
September 19 – 23
The primary problem with the refutation of homosexual unions has always been what heterosexuals lose rather than what homosexuals gain. Alternate relationship options give us a chance to explore ourselves, regardless of orientation. Only by giving in to the ugliest part of ourselves can LGBTQI+ relationships be refused. The current marriage debate in Australia is a disgraceful example of the tyranny of democracy; Straight people are voting to decide if gay people can live as they choose.
It was gay people who taught me what marriage really means. It isn’t about love, its about property, money, wills, insurance, assets and a legal right to possess children. I always felt marriage was a bull-shit institution designed by men to organize the sale of women. None of this has changed, except that women can now fight to take the money with them when they leave and put a price on parenting skills. This is what marriage is really about, and gay people have the right to leave their assets to their wife or husband against the preferences of antagonistic family just as much as straight people. Marriage is about a despotic democracy that forces you into debates that dehumanize, it is about bringing the courts into your bedroom and it is about using money to control each other. This is what straight people did to love, and as far as I’m concerned it is only in the most perverted of worlds that this is a problem for those who don’t have it.
But therein lies patriarchy’s only true skill – propaganda. We’ve bullied the LGBTQI+ community so much, they can’t love each other unless they can oppress each other with state, law and money, and I have voted yes to give them that right. It’s a sad day for love, but then as the great Tina Turner would say, What has love got to do with it?
Thank god for Wayne Tunks and his current show Diva Wars! As thinking Australian’s are put through this horror show of using democracy to further oppress our LGBTQI+ friends, this show gives us a laugh, and does precisely what acceptance should do – teach us something about ourselves. By giving Wayne Tunks and his witty cast of gay men the opportunity to talk to us about their love of Diva’s, we learn what a powerful force alternate opinion is, and how much of our identity is wrapped up in judgement. No one in this show is safe from a certain kind of acerbic campy wit, but it’s a beautiful attempt to unite through humor, roasting and above all else, Diva worship. I’m a Madonna and Kylie fan myself, and I have to confess I love them for all the same reasons the gay boys on the stage love them – and this surprised me. That pop cultural feminist icons can be empowering for gay men filled me with that beautiful short term warm and fuzzy feeling pop is so good at creating.
Just as I had forgotten that marraige is essential because of its legal, moral and financial authority, these beautiful gay men reminded me that pop is essential for its light-hearted, superficial nothingness. I am allowed to wear 501’s, sport a new haircut and dance around the room to Confide in Me, and feel my bullshit 90’s girl Impossible Princess rise to the surface. Diva Wars isn’t just about gay men claiming their goddess, it’s a reminder to all of us to not take it all so seriously; and yet remember that a conversation of alternates is the most serious thing you can do for your prescribed ideology. I lost nothing of myself or my opinions in listening to Wayne Tunks and his friends talk about their passions, but I gained a warmth of connection I did not expect that night. I am the same woman today that I was yesterday, only today, the Kylie and Madonna vinyl is getting a bit of a work out.
Vive la difference!