Can a gay guy and a straight guy really be best friends? ‘My Surrogate Boyfriend’ played at Brisbane Powerhouse’s ‘MELT Festival' explored the complex maze that is the straight-gay friendship.
The show was a musical theatre performance based on the true events of two friends, Josh and Ethan. They touched on the rules of the "Bro Code” – which came to prominence in the hit show ‘How I Met Your Mother’ – and tore them apart. Breaking the boundaries of friendship archetypes, the two friends constructed a brand new Bro Code, relevant to their situation.
The set was minimal. A desk, two chairs and two microphone stands on stage. This meant that the actors had the opportunity to set the scene only with the music and dialogue – and they succeeded.
Josh and Ethan performed original songs about their individual experiences in life, came together to roast each other, and even covered Ke$ha. They played a game of R-E-S-P-E-C-T, as one asked risqué questions while the other decided if they were respectful enough for the friendship.
Ethan sang about taking a girl out to dinner and being able to woo her, while Josh scrolled through his phone and found the perfect boy to invite over for the night. The two discussed the difference between straight and gay relationships, and Josh explained how some start slowly and surely, while others tend to be more rushed into.
A truly touching moment in the show was when Josh spoke about his inability to get married due to the laws against it in Australia, as Ethan performed a powerful cover of ‘Hearts A Mess’ by Gotye. The show also addressed issues with coming out, and the negative effects it can have on young people if they feel they need to hide it because of their circumstances. The two friends urged us as an audience to stay true to who we are, and to not feel like we should be held back by anyone. Though the show was a comedy, there were some very serious and truthful themes that were highly relevant to society in general.
Throughout the show, Josh and Ethan showed their true admiration for each other and shared it openly with the audience. Taking harmless and comedic stabs at each other, the pair’s on stage chemistry was highly evident. They made sure to point out that although the show was autobiographical, it was also a general statement on society as a whole.
‘My Surrogate Boyfriend’ was a fun, humorous and touching show. The two cast members successfully portrayed their close friendship and created a bond between them and the audience. The show was interesting, easy to understand, and generally a great time.
Under section three in the Bro Code, this production has been awarded four out of five gay flags!
‘MELT Festival' is on at Brisbane Powerhouse until 15 February.