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Tying Knots


Tying Knots
on Wednesday 13 June 2012

Tying KnotsEquality is an issue I get particularly fiery about, so denying gay marriage seems completely unfair to me. As referred to in Tying Knots, Australian law acknowledges that couples can get married despite their race, spirituality and sex, but goes on to define that it must only be between heterosexuals. Why does the government care so much about our sexuality? I could understand if they cared about our sexual health, but our preference?

Sadly for me, Tying Knots was not enough about this topical issue.

Jo wants a wedding with a white dress and a church because that’s what she wanted as a little girl. She convinces her partner Kate and their friends Tim and Ben, who are also a couple, to inter-marry. Kate will marry Ben and Jo will marry Tim so they can pretend to be straight and have a double wedding in a church.

As a child I considered being a bus driver. When we get older, we re-assess things. Jo is referenced as a gay rights campaigner later in the piece, but, for me, “because I want to” was her motivation, not equality or love. Maybe even if religion were the justification for wanting a church wedding, I would have really enjoyed it. There are a many reasons why civil unions don’t cut it and I feel that this side of the argument was missed.

I love both worlds that writer Indigo Brandenburg creates in Tying Knots. There was the world of the seamstress Thea and her cheeky assistant Kit, and that of the couples who go to them for wedding fittings; however, something more substantial needs to happen to bring those two worlds together before they lean on each other as close friends would. After a few fittings the seamstress called the couple about a crisis involving the assistant and it didn’t seem feasible.

There was a lovely warm playfulness throughout the play. Kit’s flamboyancy and Jo’s earthiness were lovely, the design was great and I was totally transported.  But there was some awkward blocking that could have been more specific and motivated. There were many unbelievable moments of moving papers and looking at wedding dresses in magazines which weren’t purposeful or realistic. These moments were especially exposed in La Mama’s intimate space.

I really wanted to love Tying Knots. It has heart and a great plot, but needs more development before it becomes the play that it strives to be.

Running time: 65 minutes

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Emily has written 20 articles on AussieTheatre
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