‘Triple X’ is partly hyped as an edgy show with sex and humour, at its centre a trans lead character and performer. Yet it is the show’s huge heart which leaves an indelible mark on audience members and assures that ‘Triple X’ will become an immediate classic.
Writer and lead Glace Chase reveals her heart, full of gutsy vulnerability, patient understanding, forgiveness and defiant optimism that maybe this time things will be different. At the end of the play, you will hope so too.
The tale is as old as time, two people meet and feel something, but they come from two different worlds and can’t be sure what would happen if those worlds collided. There is Scotty who works in New York finance and has a lot of money but never enough it seems. He wants to quit his job, but is weighed down by expectations, and to be fair, responsibilities. Performance artist Dexie has few responsibilities, although she sure seems to be taking care of Scotty a lot, and faces her own challenges.
Through classic romantic comedy tropes, we become familiar with Scotty’s home life with his fiancée, friends and family members. The cast is faultless, each character may be a stereotype at first appearance but the dialogue delights in contradictions and the performers display nuance in every action their characters take.
It seems unfair to point out anyone given how perfect everyone is, but Josh McConville has to convey a wealth of emotions buried deep inside of a man in crisis. In lesser hands the different actions of Scotty would be hard to reconcile but not here, thanks to Josh.
Image © Brett Boardman
Then there is Glace as Dexie, in early scenes she has her persona up, getting laughs and playing it cool. Even with that confidence there is always a hint of vulnerability too. The transition to heartfelt revelations and heartbroken realisations is seamless and, understandably, it appeared Glace was becoming emotional during the play’s standing ovation. It goes without saying: If there was no Glace Chase there would be no ‘Triple X’.
Last year, after two previews in March, ‘Triple X’'s run was cancelled in the wake of the COVID pandemic. Without a way to predict the challenges ahead, Queensland Theatre’s Artistic Director Lee Lewis promised Glace that ‘Triple X’ would run again. Through the efforts of many, we have theatre back here in Queensland and even more fortunately, ‘Triple X’.
The plot of 'Triple X' is classic by design, the show is hysterical (wait until you see the sex scene) and the humour undercuts any notions of self-seriousness.
Yet, by making us fall in love and understand characters for who they are not what they represent, ‘Triple X’ reminds us why we love going to the theatre and what really matters.
‘Triple X’ plays until 1 April at Queensland Theatre's Bille Brown Theatre.