Melbourne’s Midsumma festival has been celebrating queer culture for 25 years and officially runs from 13 January to 3 February. Theatre Works starts a couple days early with Psycho Beach Party opening on 11 January.
When people in the town are attacked in strange sado-masochistic ways, it is up to the surf-bums and a B-Grade Horror star to find the culprit and save a Gidget-esque nerd with a dream to surf from her potentially lethal sexual awakening.
Directed by sex.blood.violence.gore’s Stephen Nicolazzo, its recent Bondi season blew Sydney away and the short Melbourne season is selling so well that you shouldn’t wait. Anne-Marie Peard chats with Genevieve Giuffre (sex.blood.violence.gore, Summertime in the Garden of Eden) about awesome stuff like leopard print, taking risks and gelati.
Describe your show in three words?
Sex on drugs OR Oceanic leopard cult.
Who shouldn’t miss your show
Lovers of the words above.
Will anyone hate it?
Not even the jealous people will be able to hate on it.
What other Midsumma show(s) will you NOT miss?
Here lies Henry – they bump in after us, and what’s this I see…Vieux Carre Tennessee, yes I will!
Midsumma is 25 this year. What’s your toast?
Happy Birthday Midsumma, bless your heart! Year of the Dragon.
Midsumma is also about celebrating queer culture. What does your show celebrate?
Individualism in the form of leopard print and sexual expression. Jungle fever. Oh and insanity.
What films did you have to watch to prepare for Psycho Beach Party?
I watched a lot of Friday night lights proceeding this show, it definitely ignited my already blazing sense of team spirit. No really! I revisited some Gidget and took a sneak peak at Beach Blanket Bingo, I just couldn’t go past that title.
Would you swim at St Kilda beach?
Before and after every show I will swim in god’s pool.
Apart from the Midsumma, what festival would you love to be a part of?
What was the first festival you were a part of?
Book week at school.
How would you convince a north-sider to cross the river to St Kilda?
I’d say it’s okay, you can bring your flask just hop on the 112 or 96 and come get sexy 😉
If you could invite anyone to see your show (and you know they would come), who would it be?
Well my truest answer would be Dan Wylie, but he already came to opening night of the Sydney season! Dreams really do come true!
What is the best theatre advice you’ve received?
Take the big risks. It’s more fun.
What’s the worst and/or best thing a reviewer has said about you or your show?
A reviewer referred to my character, Berdine, as having a cleft palate. I don’t actually have one so that’s pretty cool I think. It’s subjective. It’s all subjective.
What’s your favourite gelati flavour?
Peppermint mixed with a scoop of rainbow.
What was the last film you loved?
The last film I loved was in fact the first film I loved, Cry Baby. ‘Hey Mr Jailer’, so much joy!
What’s the best thing to do when it’s over 40° and you don’t have air conditioning?
Get the gang together, dine in at McDonald’s Acland Street and book a group ticket for Psycho Beach Party at Theatre Works.
What work changed how you make theatre? Why?
Star Wars exists. All things imagined are real in the theatre. Fantasy has its place.
What director/actor/writer/creator would you just die to work with?
I would want to make country music with Ryan Adams, a film with David Lynch and take pictures with Terry Richardson.
What do love most about your show?
The cast. The PBP cult are the most fun people in Straya right now!