Change: sometimes it’s the most terrifying thing that can happen. It scares us, affects relationships and circumstances irreversibly, and the longer things have been the same, the more it tears everything apart. Such is the case with a stereotypical American family in Taylor Mac’s Hir.
Isaac returns home after four years to find his father a dribbling stroke victim, his sibling transgender, and his mother reinventing her life after discovering feminism and gender theory.
But alas, despite being young, fresh from a life in the US Army, Isaac is beholden to the beliefs of the white patriarchal system. He can’t get past the fact that his mother doesn’t want to fold the clothes, or cook fried chicken for his father anymore, let alone being able to bond with his now gender-neutral sibling.
Greg Stone and Michael Whalley are fine specimens which still manage to induce empathy for their trite father and son characters; Kurt Pimblett is spectacular as the young Max; but Helen Thomson is extraordinary, truly stealing the show as Paige. She’s the kind of actor that keeps the medium of theatre magical.
And to tie it all together beautifully, Hir‘s feisty story wins hearts by routinely dropping visceral truth bombs, all drenched in glitter, comedy and infectious music.
Until Sep 10. Belvoir St Theatre, 25 Belvoir St, Surry Hills. $37-$72. Tickets & Info: www.belvoir.com.au
Reviewed by Alexander Eugene.