It is not at all clear to this reviewer why Amanda Monroe’s Mangina has classified itself as a comedy act playing out in the Garden at 11pm when a more appropriate home would be in the other end of the Fringe Guide and the Rundle / Hindley Street divide at Higher Ground alongside say, The Ballad of the Unbeatable Hearts.
Mangina is the life tale of a man born desiring to be a woman and spending nearly 50 years trying to conform with the expectations of parents, friends and society generally before saying ‘stuff it’ and giving his heart over to her chemistry.
From initial influences like Hitchcock’s Psycho and a trip to a drag show in Kings Cross, the boy from Melbourne found unfortunate ways to make her world work – drug taking in extremis a part of the cocktail of self and public deceit.
With humour, poignancy and fun music, Monroe draws her audience into her story and the world of a trans-sexual. There is nothing pretty about it all, other than the perhaps belated triumph of having survived it and living happily to tell us the tale.
This is powerful stuff and, of course, on subject matter that many won’t wish to engage in (especially your ordinary Garden punters.) But this is the Fringe and experiments like an hour with Amanda are worth the effort. As suggested above, Mangina would serve excellently as a companion piece to Richard Fry’s The Ballad of the Unbeatable Hearts.
Anyone who is, was or who wonders about the plight of the ‘misfits’ of our society should take Mangina in. While the language used may lack depth, no one can deny its authenticity.
Kryztoff Rating 3.5K
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