Without having any expectations for this show, I wandered down into the Adina Treasury Tunnels. We were led into a small side chamber, where I noted that the space was transformed into the intimate space of a bedroom. This hinted at the intensity and closeness between audience and performer that was to come.
This is a one-person show that hits right to the core of what it is to be a drag artist. The show opens with the performer, Lachlan Martin, returning home in full drag after yet another late night has turned into an early morning. As she progressively undresses, following the raucous debauchery, she loses not only her costume, but layers of her self-esteem and certainty.
The rest of the piece develops into a well-thought out, intelligently constructed performance about the life of a drag queen. The thoughts and ideas espoused by the character before us at first feel materialistic. Musings on sex, drugs and gossip dominate the opening lines of the monologue. With each passing moment, however, the words and thoughts become deeper and rawer, leaving the artist exposed. This especially occurs through the juxtaposition between her evening life as a queen and Martin’s ordinary persona as a primary school drama teacher.
It is a true talent to keep an audience hanging onto your every syllable, and this is what Martin does with beauty and dexterity. There are moments where I laughed and moments where I was on the brink of tears. I tried to decipher the profound philosophical ideas he presented. Why am I here? Where is the line between real self and constructed self? How can I love the person behind the make-up?
It is incredibly impressive when a performer is locked within the confines of a small space with their audience, but can open that world much larger through their descriptions. Party Snake manages to create a perfect balance in ideas and emotion, and it is a wonder to behold.