THEATRE maker Jeffrey Jay Fowler loves a play to be entertaining while also offering food for thought and believes all four productions programmed in Subiaco Theatre Festival follow this ethos.
His production FAG/STAG will open Subiaco Theatre Festival this week at Subiaco Arts Centre, with the festival on until July 2.
Written and performed with Chris Isaacs, the play was produced by independent theatre company The Last Great Hunt and premiered at Fringe World 2015 before seasons in Melbourne and Adelaide.
“It can be hard to be heard in the crowd during Fringe World and people might be looking for something different then,” Fowler said.
“With an independent theatre festival there is more focus on the craft of theatre itself and having something with a lot of substance in it.
“I’m excited about bringing it back to Perth after we debuted the work here; we were very unsure of it and nervous and had no idea if people would think it was lewd or offensive or too aggressive, and instead of that, they have let themselves into the work and let us into their heads.”
FAG/STAG follows a simple premise where two male best friends, Corgan and Jimmy, receive an invitation to another of their friend’s wedding.
For one guy it is his long term ex-girlfriend and for the other, who now identifies as gay, it’s the first and only girl he ever dated.
“It’s about all the stuff guys do, like get too drunk, play lawn bowls, play video games and fight with one another, where the topic of the fight is not what they’re really fighting about,” Fowler said.
“Friendship is a tricky thing and the friendship Chris and I have isn’t the friendship presented in the play, but there is something about having a different sexuality to your friend.
“For a lot of my life as a gay guy, I resisted a lot of those friendships or being a little bit scared of straight men, in a strange way.
“I think sometimes straight men don’t know how to be friends with gay men. We fear or don’t understand one another, without meaning to be prejudiced but just living in separate worlds.
“FAG/STAG gives you a candid view of what men think, compared to what they say. Part of that is in the depth of the play, but also the humour as well.”
Where: Subiaco Arts Centre
When: June 8 to 11