5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche (Imprint Theatricals)
Brisbane Powerhouse, Visy Theatre
February 3 – 8
It’s the 1956 annual quiche breakfast of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein and, as fellow widows, audience members are all welcome…. well except for Marjorie, for last year she desecrated the hallowed institution by including meat in a quiche, in violation of the group’s golden rule: ’no men, no meat, all manners’.
To assist in being welcomed as fellow lady sisters, audience members are issued with name tags upon entry to the Visy Theatre; I was Maxine in a sea of Mildreds, Nancys, Normas and Doreens. But despite this light-hearted audience pre-show interaction, the focus is soon firmly on stage as the respectable self-described widows wait anxiously to taste each other’s’ quiches. Nothing could go wrong, right? Wrong. It’s 1956, at the height of the Cold War and a communist attack soon leaves them bunkered together, linked as one, hand in hand, as strong as any man, to confront an apocalyptical future and continue in worship of the humble quiche-producing egg, a food as close to Jesus as any can get.
As the officer bearer matriarchs of the society, the cast does an excellent job of portraying their tales of repressed Stepford wife life, with carefully curled and coiffed hair (because curls get girls) and flawless Southern accents. Each performer does a commendable job in conveying character commitment to the society’s cause and then confession of their true selves, with Ellen Bailey, in particular, not only looking the put-together bobby-sox part, but delivering a standout, vibrant and engaging performance as Dale, the youngest member of the Executive.
“5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche” is a fast-paced, energetic show, full of double-entendres, sexual innuendo, puns and audience participation as the ladies’ proud proclamations are announced. And given its smash Off-Broadway run and cult hit status, it is a privilege to share in its Australian debut, for while its shenanigans are all quite silly, they are is certainly loads of fun.