Poorly Drawn Shark is arguably one of the best shows you will see during Midsumma 2020. Part memory play, part power point presentation, part lecture on the intersection of colonialism and fetish, performers Ming Yang Lim and Andrew Sutherland pack a lot into the fast paced hour.
Ming Yang Lim and Andrew Sutherland have very different relationships and connections to Singapore – one searching for meaning and the other a place to belong. Neither hold back, nor are afraid to lay their truths bare on stage.
The performance structure suits the narrative perfectly – the audience never quite knows what will happen next but we are always invested. Characters and locations are introduced with simple and straight up explanations, that serve the narrative and provide cyphers to keep the pace going.
Director Joe Paradise Lui’s light touch allows both performers to shine but not over shadow the core of the piece. The work’s through line is handled with care and respect, with the underlying message ringing through, loud and clear.
This work is a much needed addition to the Theatre Works and Midsumma landscape, diving into issues rarely seen or spoken about so openly in Queer spaces. It is refreshing to see a work of this caliber drilling into a narrative that many would be afraid to tackle.
Poorly Drawn Shark
Theatre Works, 14 Acland Street, Melbourne
Performance: Friday 24 January 2020 – 9.00pm
Season: 19 – 26 January 2020 (closed)
Image: Andrew Sutherland and Ming Yang Lim feature in Poorly Drawn Shark (supplied)
Review: Gavin Roach