25 November, 2020

APOCALIPSTICK \\ Polytoxic & Friends

By Anina-Marie Warrener

Performing at the Metro Arts New Benner Theatre in West End and presented by Polytoxic, Apocalipstick is the fiercely feminist variety show that you didn’t know you needed; the perfect blend of comedy and feminism to rid us of all the toxic 2020 energy.

Spearheaded by two feminist performance-makers, Lisa Fa’alafi (Hot Brown Honeys)  and Leah Shelton (Bitch on Heat), Polytoxic has been dedicated to making “hyper-visual, pop-inspired performance work built upon foundations of diversity, collaboration and intersectionality” since its inception. Their latest creation, Apocalipstick, features a stunning array of multi-disciplinary artists with something for everyone; comedy, beat-boxing, dance, physical theatre and music with an overarching feminist theme.

Image: FenLan Photography

Notably, Polytoxic is particularly concerned with presenting work that is entirely inclusive in not only gender but also race and ethnicity and Apocalipstick does just that. The show includes an extremely diverse range of cast from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, gender identities and sexuality.

From the moment the audience enters the theatre, the music is intoxicating. It feels like stepping straight into a nightclub with a beat so persistent it vibrates right through your body from your fingertips to your toes. The soundtrack is fantastic with some killer songs to tap your toes to.

The costumes are absolutely stunning. A particular highlight is the expert weaving skills of Lisa Fa’alafi in her mind-boggling warrior goddess act.

Without giving too much away, Apocalipstick is a breath of fresh air in a dim and dreary 2020 to bring new life to the theatre post-lockdown. The audience was laughing out loud for most of the one hour show. 

Particularly hilarious is the duo act, The Hot Brown Homies, who provide a satirical take on the typical male. When joined by the equally hilarious, Wrong Direction, these ‘boys’ provide a spoof of misogyny which highlights the truly ridiculous side of some very real male behaviour.

A dance performance by An(drea) Lam is heart wrenching as she performs a Bollywood ‘item number’ overlaid with the projection of real comments by men on ‘item number’ videos online. The whole sequence demonstrates how easily a woman who freely expresses herself through her body can be twisted and sexualised.

Image: FenLan Photography

Overall, Apocalipstick is a wonderfully uplifting take on some very serious issues that truly enables the audience to experience the cathartic release of toxic energy through genuine laughter. Through comedy the show pushes the boundaries and challenges the patriarchy at every step and turn.

Apocalipstick is performing another two sold out shows at Metro Arts and will close on Saturday 28 November. For more information, please visit: https://metroarts.com.au/apocalipstick/