It’s fun, it’s quirky and a little bit dirty, but '5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche' is just what the doctor ordered for anyone wanting a play that will make your tummy hurt and your eyes cry from roars of laughter.
Director Nathanael Cooper says his former business partner, Sean Brian, first came across the production in Chicago where it had its first life.
“We were looking at shows that we could do here in Australia and he showed me the script and I thought it was hilarious,” Nathanael says, “I had tears rolling down my face when I was reading the script and I thought ‘if that’s how good the script is I can’t imagine how fabulous it’ll be on stage’.”
The play is about the committee members of the Susan B Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein who are meeting for their annual Quiche Breakfast. It takes place in 1956 in the middle of the Cold War with the threat of an atomic bomb dropping at any moment on the United States.
“They are holding the annual Quiche Breakfast where they meet with each other and the audience members also become part of the society when they enter the room,” Nathanael says. While they are down there, tragedy strikes and they are stuck in the bunker and are going to be there for seven years. “Knowing it’s going to be just them, they feel free to express themselves and reveal a few of their secrets."
After completing a season in Brisbane, Gold Coast and Melbourne, the play is showing for the first time in Sydney at the Glen Street Theatre. Although it may seem that the play was tailored more towards a queer community, Nathanael and the crew were pleasantly surprised that people from all walks of life were coming to see the show.
“All the people love it for some reason… I didn’t think older people would love it, I don’t understand because it’s really naughty,” Nathanael says. “We had one lady in the audience for the second season who was 79 and she was having the time of her life ROFL-ing so hard.”
The jokes are something everyone can relate to, whether you’re gay, straight or just love a bit of slapstick humour in your life. From an outsiders perspective, the play seems rather interactive, but Nathanael reassures that this is not quite the case.
“I personally hate audience interaction... I have a special face if anyone from the cast tries to talk to me,” Nathanael says. “Everyone who knows me was quite shocked that I did a show that involved audience interaction, but it’s done really subtly and it’s not confronting at all.”
Nathanael has been involved in theatre since he was a child and did amateur theatre when he was growing up. He later became an entertainment journalist and was attracted to directing and producing theatre after noticing a gap for Australian commercial small scale productions.
“We are completely self-funded, we don’t draw any government support at all,” Nathanael says. “I enjoy being able to take something from a script and seeing how we can play around with it on stage.”
'5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche' plays at Glen Street Theatre from 21-26 March.