You wouldn’t dare look bored during Joel Bray’s Biladurang or Geoff Sobelle’s Home.
The QT Sydney is known as the place to go to get laid – at least if you have the money.
I’ve gone back to a guy’s room, and I’m already in a hotel robe getting a hand massage from him. He’s asking me about my family – where are they from? It seems unbelievable but this guy actually seems interested in the fact that I come from Warrnambool.
He’s fresh from the bath, suds still on his face, but at least he’s put on some clothes – it was a bit much seeing him dance around the suite naked. Just as I’m starting to relax, he’s moving on: does anyone else want a massage?
I look around. Any takers? There are 22 of us in robes in the suite, drinking champagne, eating Kit Kats from the minibar. Some people are sitting on ottomans, others on couches. There are people lying on the bed.
Joel Bray is a dancer and choreographer whose small-scale Sydney festival show, Biladurang, is being performed in a hotel room at the QT for 10 nights of the Sydney festival. Scattered around the room are the remnants of big nights: a G-string, harness and condom wrappers. Bray’s been on a casual sex bender – or, at least, his eponymous character has – and when we meet him in his suite he’s burned out and in pain.
He goes and takes a bath (there’s a live feed from the bathroom to the TV in the lounge, where we are sitting) and lets out an almighty primal scream.
When he emerges he dances for us covered in suds. Later he brings us into his bedroom, invites us on to his bed and tells us stories of growing up queer and Indigenous in Australia. Then he pairs us up and has us waltzing with each other.
The play is not for everyone, but with a maximum of 22 audience members per performance it’s one of the hottest tickets of the festival.