Review by Brodie Paparella
F*cking with Gender is like a tarot reading you get in the middle of a city street: if you really engage in the moment and invest in the thrill, it can be a truly intimate and indulgent experience. If you’re a cynic or refuse to go with the flow, you’re not going to get it.
Scratch Warehouse is a bespoke space, the charm and calibre of which is rare these days, and a welcome change in the Fringe universe; a true sanctuary of cheek and charity. It appears they have put together a program that has something for everyone so I recommend stepping beyond your expectations and further beyond your comfort zone to see what delights might attend to your innermost guilty pleasures. F*cking with Gender certainly brings focus to the more ramshackle elements of the space with its bawdy bedlam.
If you’re not into audience participation then this might not be the experience for you – if you are into audience participation then wear all the spangly, sparkly, sequined garments you possess!
Although F*cking with Gender is a hilarious delight, the chaotic delivery leaves many a question unanswered, and not in an open-to-interpretation kind of way. Anyone seeking a sensitive addressing of the gender discourse and politics might walk away a bit frazzled, especially with the focus being much more on sexuality and social pressures than tropes or trials – although it was refreshing to see some fun poked at an issue taking itself very seriously of late (with good reason, but still).
Titillation and belly laughs abound in this reveling experiment, but ultimately the content and execution struggles to generate true empathy or a means for the audience to do as the title entices.
F*cking With Gender played as part of Melbourne’s Fringe Festival at the Scratch Warehouse from 16th – 26th September 2015.