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SPLIT LIP @ Girls School gets 9/10


Split Lip
@ Girls School

Friday, January 24, 2020

9/10

Local queer artist Ginava has a long history of FRINGE WORLD successes and incredible Perth productions, with much loved shows such as Mache XL and her award-winning production of Split Lip at last year’s Fringe. She reprises this show in 2020, and it’s simply spectacular.

Split Lip follows multiple personalities through their struggles within a psychiatric institution, played out through the supremely brilliant utilisation of pop culture voiceovers which Ginava lip syncs as they overlap and interplay. Her face acting is sublime, her syncing with the audio flawless. There are moments where you would swear she is actually voicing the lines herself. The talent required to do an hour-long lip-sync performance is mind-blowing, and it is backed up by some fantastic tech work with lighting cues that are spot on (pardon the pun).

It is a truly remarkable performance, with face acting that haunts you, and a story that is a deep exploration of mental health issues and the trauma of drug misuse. The messages within might not be subtle, and are not intended to be so, but the stories are relatable and profound. It is intense experiential theatre.

The ultimate shapeshifter, Ginava is mother to a Perth collective of subversive artists who revel in challenging thinking with their particular brand of club kid art. For the uninitiated, Google club kids and learn something about queer history and the origins of rebellious modern performance art. It all began in back alley clubs and has a huge influence on what you’re watching on RuPaul’s Drag Race. If you’re a fan, know that RuPaul herself began as a club kid. It is so much more than drag, yet is often captured under that umbrella. They are often the most maligned of performance artists, who have to claw their way up to be respected, so deserve it all the more once they arrive.

Ginava is one of those rare artists who has absolutely fought, scratched her way up and earned her place on any stage. Split Lip is a culmination of years of toil perfecting her progressive work, and it is the purest of art.

To put it lightly, Ginava IS art and you’d be a fool to miss out on extending your Fringe game and checking out some mesmerising alternative theatre. The message of acceptance and moving forward beyond adversity is a journey worth taking. So hop on the Ginava train and revel in the ride.

NATALIE GILES

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