fbpx

THE CURSE OF THE GOLDEN DILDO Why Nana, why?


After receiving a mysterious (and phallic) object from her Great Nana, June and her roommate Sage must find a way to destroy it before its presence does more harm in The Curse of the Golden Dildo, an epic adventure with bizarre roots set to unfold in Hayman Theatre from Thursday, January 20 to Sunday, January 30. KWANWOO HAN caught up with writer Tiahna McBride to find out about the unlikely inspiration behind the show and what it took to bring it to life.

Congrats on bringing The Curse of the Golden Dildo to Fringe World 2022! How does it feel to perform this year?

I honestly feel very blessed that we can perform at all with the COVID situation. Perth has been very blessed, and it’s been an incredible experience as an emerging artist. I’m just really excited I’m able to give young emerging actors another opportunity to get some work during this time.

Let’s start with something simple. Who are the characters and what’s with the cursed dildo?

The characters are June, she is a workaholic, a bit of a clean freak and the mum of the friend group. Sage, our energetic free spirit, she makes most of her money on Only Fans selling feet pics and loves watching Supernatural high in her living room. Ink is our old soul of the group, he only wants one thing, his freedom. After a new change of scenery, he is ready to tackle a new country and mess with some new people.

We also have some minor characters who make some short appearances in the play. Stacy is one of Sage’s Tinder dates and a postman who hates his job. The cursed dildo is given to June by her great grandmother Nellie. The origins of the dildo begin with a love story between Nellie and the King of England George the Fifth. George is forced to break it off and has to marry his elder brother’s fiancé so he made Nellie a gift so she would never forget about him, but his new fiancé grew jealous and had the phallic object cursed affecting anyone that uses it.

The story behind the golden dildo is pretty out there.  Where did the idea come from and how long has it been in the works?

This story originated from a creative writing assessment during my time at Curtin. I did a horror genre piece inspired by my writing exercise about said grandmother’s golden dildo. After getting a decent grade I decided to turn it into a script. As a theatre student at Curtin, the theatre course allows its students opportunities to write and direct their own shows known as the Lunchtime theatre season. I wanted to submit it for second semester 2020 but sadly due to COVID we lost all our funding for new shows in our second semester, but this didn’t stop me from applying for the beginning of 2021 season. To my luck my application got accepted, and that’s where everything started pushing off.

I had many people involved in the editing process. My dramaturge at the time was Matthew Arnold, an emerging artist, who has experience on stage and as a director. He is also part of a theatre company in Perth known as Songbird Theatre Co. Matthew was a massive help in the process along with many others. I was also blessed to have a mentor Dr Helen Trenos during my season. Sadly, due to COVID our season was cut short but that didn’t stop us from getting sold out seats on our last performance.

After that incredible experience of directing and organising a show this inspired me to put it up for Fringe. After working on three Fringe shows in 2021 doing makeup, two being award-winning shows, I felt more confident putting in my application. After receiving my feedback on my script from audience members and past directors in the theatre field, I set to work on perfecting my script. Alas in the year of 2021 my application was accepted. I booked in a script workshop with two experienced Fringe directors who helped break down my script to the one everyone will be seeing this Fringe.

This a show that has such a strange concept, the inspiration must have been drawn from somewhere. Does the show draw inspiration from any stories?

I would say the genesis of the cursed dildo was definitely inspired by horror films, like Annabelle, and how there is this cursed doll possessed by a demon that tries to kill people. The horror genre played a huge part of my inspiration, but so did horror parodies. I was raised by Austin Power films and Black Adder so I’ve always enjoyed dark comedies and the way in which movies flip original stereotype films like James Bond and horror into something comical. During a time where everything was seeming so sad and gloomy, I wanted to put on a dark comedy that would get people laughing just like it had in my childhood. I loved playing with the ridiculousness of something like Annabelle which would be seen as super scary, seeming ridiculous due to the object in which is cursed, same with my demon.

As a self-taught special effects makeup artist, I wanted to show how makeup can belong in theatre, so I loved the idea of making this creepy demon who’s actually a bit of a sweetheart deep down.

A lot of work has been put into this production to make it possible. Who was chosen to perform in the show and who else helped in its development?

I have been very lucky to have an incredible crew and cast in which without them I don’t know how I could have done this show. Starting off with my crew we have Sacha Emeljanow my Stage Manager who I’ve been blessed to have by my side from day one. Laura Davenport my Marketing Director, who is also our postman in the show, and last but definitely not least Danika Bentley my Backstage Hand on props and costumes, not to mention she is also playing our Tinder date Stacy. Without these incredible women I don’t know how I would have been able to put up this show.

Now for my incredible cast, we have Izabella Day playing our Sage, she graduated from WAAPA’s acting diploma in 2020. Keira Oxby playing our June, who actually performed in Murdoch Theatre Company’s The Trojan Women. Ellis R. Kinnear is our Ink whose last performance was in the Hogfather this year.

Also, a massive shout out to the production team, led by Stephen Carr and Leigh Brennan at the Hayman Theatre and to my voice actors Christian Dichiera playing our news reporter and my grandmother playing Nellie. A lot of laughs will be shared among the audience during the show.

With so many ideas and potential that The Curse of the Golden Dildo has, what should we be looking forward to?

There are so many hilarious moments it makes it very hard to pick, but one of my favourite moments is our just dance scene, it is something I believe my audience should look forward to.

What about you? You helped create it, so what are you looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to seeing how it all comes together. How my audience reacts to what we’ve worked so hard to create. Especially how everyone reacts to our dildo and our demon, it’s always a favourite moment of mine watching the audiences first reaction to both.

You find an empty chip packet that starts talking to you under your best friend’s dirty laundry. What do you do?

I ask it how long it’s been under there and if it’s okay, I can only imagine how traumatising being trapped under someone’s filthy dirty laundry would be.

Comments are closed.