37 Reasons to head to Almas this Midsumma

37 Ways To Say I'm Gay
37 Ways To Say I'm Gay. Image by Jacinta Young

Making its world premiere at Downstairs at Alma’s for Midsumma 2012 is the a great comedic-drama from acclaimed playwright Wayne Tunks, 37 Ways To Say I’m Gay.

From prehistoric to futuristic, city to country, comedy to drama, with 92 characters, 29 short plays, and 12 performers, 37 Ways To Say I’m Gay presents a host of heartwarming coming-out stories through the ages.

The strong cast includes TV performers, Daniel Bowden (Always Greener), Perri Cummings (Neighbours), Todd Morgan (Shortland Street) and Kristie Jandric (Satisfaction), theatre veteran Amanda Buckley, playwright Wayne Tunks and six wonderful young actors: Mathew Gelsumini, Benji Groenewegen, Emma Hardy, Leighton Irwin, Giovanni Piccolo and Shane Savage.

Playwright Wayne Tunks is one of Australia’s most prolific theatre writers, and he believes that this piece is hitting home on many levels.

37 Ways To Say I'm Gay
37 Ways To Say I'm Gay. Image by Jacinta Young

“I am loving the audience reaction” he said today. “They are clearly getting into it – cheering and laughing. It’s the little sounds that people make, of recognition, realising they see themselves in certain scenes.”

“When there are 29 different scenes telling very different stories you can guarantee someone is going to be able to identify with one of the characters”, said Tunks.

Presented for Midsumma 2012 “Melbourne’s annual Queer Celebration”, the show deals with the ongoing issues of ‘coming out’.

“As a gay man, you never stop coming out of the closet. At 36, i’ve been out 15 years, but I still constantly (in some way or another) have to ‘come out'”, said Tunks.

“It got me thinking about the different ways people have to say that their gay, in different environments. So I guess that’s how I found the premise of the play”.

Tunks explains that that the characters in 37 Ways To Say I’m Gay range from teenagers to octogenarians, and that his modern and mildly self-deprecating writing style celebrates the Australian idiom.

“I think the wonderful thing about Australians is that we are able to take the piss out of ourselves and in a way that is what my work celebrates”, he laughed.

The show runs until February 5 at Downstairs At Alma’s, an intimate theatre space which makes the theatrical experience more poignant.

“Downstairs at Alma’s is a fun little room and for such a small room it has such an amazing feel. People walk in there and everyone feels quite electric. People walk out saying ‘what a great little venue'”, said Tunks.

37 Ways To Say I’m Gay Presented by Tunks Productions

Downstairs at Alma’s, 1 Wilks Street, North Caulfield

January 19 to February 5, 2012
Shows Thursday to Saturday @ 8.30pm and Sunday @ 5pm, Preview:

Bookings: www.downstairsatalmas.com.au
General Admission – $30 / Concession – $26 / Groups – $25 (8 or more)


Erin James

Erin James is AussieTheatre.com's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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