Blurring the lines between performance art, drag and cabaret, Malthouse Theatre presents Meme Girls – a love letter to the bizarre and addictive women of YouTube who broadcast their lives to an online abyss in a limited season from 9 April.
Meme Girls is the latest work from the mind of counter-culture icon Ash Flanders, who returns to Malthouse Theatre following the critical acclaim of last year’s Calpurnia Descending – employing his post-gender, tongue-in-cheek humour in an examination of identity in our social-media obsessed society.
“I’m a self-confessed pop-culture addict, while also being a self-confessed addict of the cult of celebrity,” said Flanders. “Having already explored this to some extent in Calpurnia Descending, it made sense to examine online celebrity as a modern equivalent of the diva. But more importantly, Meme Girls is packed with more LOLs than a YouTube fail compilation.”
This non sequitur performance embraces the YouTube world, where life is ‘click-bait’ and likes equate to happiness, and a seemingly infinite audience is only too happy to oblige. As the Malthouse Theatre’s Independent Artist in Residence, Flanders spent years mounting guerrilla theatre productions in pop-up venues across Melbourne, most often with Declan Greene, his partner in queer, DIY theatre duo, Sisters Grimm.
Flanders has collaborated with Malthouse Theatre’s outgoing artistic director Marion Potts and Melbourne theatre-maker Stephen Nicolazzo to pay homage to the archetypes of YouTube notoriety.
“Meme Girls is a tongue-in-cheek examination of identify and celebrity in our social media-obsessed society,” said Nicolazzo, who also directs. “It’s unique in that it brings the constructed identities of our online stage to the real stage.”
Meme Girls also features legendary Melbourne drag performer Art Simone, who physically transforms Flanders live on stage as he deconstructs and reconstructs the colourful characters of YouTube.
Malthouse Theatre, 113 Sturt Street, Southbank
Season: 9 April – 2 May 2015
Bookings: (03) 9685 5111 or online at: www.malthousetheatre.com.au
For more information, visit: www.malthousetheatre.com.au for details.
Image: Art Simone and Ash Flanders