Noor Evers reviews Dramsoc’s ‘5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche’, a comedy about female love and friendship.
As I walk through the doors, I am immediately ambushed by an exuberant, chattering lady wearing a baby pink, full skirt dress. “Dolores!” the woman exclaims as a nametag is pressed onto my left boob. “I’m so glad to see you darl, glad you brought your signature quiche with you” she purrs in a hefty, American drawl. I am taken aback. Who is this strange person baptizing me as Dolores and musing about a baked good I am not in possession of? After a confused moment, I realize it is all part of the show.
Given this gal’s prominent accent, who later reveals herself as Wren (Phoebe Taylor), I wasn’t surprised to find that ‘Five Lesbians Eating A Quiche’ is set in mid-west America. The play centers around ‘The Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein’ formed in 1956: a sisterhood of widows who yearn for quiche, and, as is later revealed, the wonders of the female body. Each of the 5 most prominent members have a very distinct character and place within this community – whereas Lulie (Harriet Troup) is the bossy, self-affirmed President of the society, Vern (Rebecca Kent) is portrayed a sultry, devilish tomboy.
The audience becomes acquainted with the quirky group in the midst of a very serious quiche contest. Unfortunately, disaster repeatedly strikes, leading to a series of reveals that establish the true nature of the secret quiche-cult. Dale (Lily Carr) confesses an estranged relationship with her father and a somber childhood whilst Lulie comes clean about her breach of the society’s three sacred commandments.
The play is, besides being hilarious, extremely refreshing. Representations of the LGBT+ community, even when intended to spread a positive message, are often characterized by a bleak, depressed mood. In contrast, this production promotes an inclusive narrative by being intensely absurd and funny. Instead of describing the often depressing, difficult plight of the LGBT+ community in being accepted and respected, this play has queer women proudly proclaim their identities. Simply the fact that the play features five women in leading roles is ground-breaking and empowering, also allowing for the exploration of compelling themes of sisterhood and female friendships. The sisters’ condemnation of anything related to meat, specifically sausage quiche, was equally exhilarating given the constant shaming of vegetarians and vegans. The play thus manages to embrace some of the key societal issues of today, with humor.
The hilarity of ‘Five Lesbians Eating A Quiche’ can largely be attributed to the star performances of these spirited women. The over the top, unbridled exuberance of each character was extremely comical, including the superb accents. Lulie and Wren were excellently portrayed as the stereotypical sassy, matronly woman – expelling a whole lot of comedic drama. The audience was furthermore thrilled by the dry sarcasm of Vern, complemented by Ginny’s (Kate Crisp) insecure tendencies, who scuttled about like a scared mouse. The extremely sexual quiche consumption scene, the sudden lesbian confessions, and Dale coming to the rescue of her beloved pastries all made the audience laugh out loud.
The ingenious ways in which the cast incorporated the audience were also admirable. A certain ‘Margery’ in the crowd was frequently picked on – accused of failing to bring a quiche and other horrible things. The nametags we were given also suddenly became useful as Ginny chatted to me (Dolores) as if we were old friends.
‘Five Lesbians Eating A Quiche’ is a must-see, incredible piece of period drama. It succeeds in being hilarious whilst also promoting the acceptance and celebration of all things gay in an energetic and refreshing manner.
Photos provided by Bristol Dramsoc