Never have I witnessed such a powerfully interconnected queer ensemble in Potentially Playing’s production of Naturally Curious. There’s no doubt they have the audience laughing, pondering and then squealing with delight, every step of the way. So, is there such a thing as a right or wrong relationship? Are we to be ashamed of our intimate thoughts? Or are we able to discover the truths within simply existing as Naturally Curious beings?
We’re next taken into a luscious cliffside view. We were able to sit back, relax and experience the David Attenborough-esk narration on this unique, live episode of albatrosses in their natural habitat. When some male albatrosses fight to woo the female, comedic chaos ensues.
Still rich in physical comedy, in a dramatic turn of events, the female albatrosses interact in lieu of one’s returning male mate. The cast begins to hint at the intriguing microcosms we are so hoping come into fruition throughout the show. To have been tasked with the limitation of bird-noise communication, the cast have absolutely no problem screaming and squawking in every imaginable variation, speaking verses and verses with a single ‘KAW!’. We then see two male albatrosses partake in wildly rigorous, coitus, expertly portrayed with erratic wing waving and squawking, demonstrating there must be a natural curiosity amongst even the most pesky gregarious of creatures.
As a small interlude, we meet the illustrious Wrasse Berry who immediately rings of class, style, and lip synced silky smooth vocals (sung by Jthan Morgan) – making the entire audience want to strap on their kinky boots and jive along. What a lustrous, radiant performance from Cassidy Kemp-Woffenden, who has us wrapped around their finger with a single glance. I felt I had been powerfully seduced into a world of dazzling ardor, of which I didn’t want to wake up from.
Quick to follow, baa baa, black sheep… have you any red flags? Two committed sheep navigate the temptations posed by another more mysterious, suave sheep. Is love to be rekindled? Or is it time for somebaady new? We soon delve into the conundrum of queer phases, sexual orientation, love, partnership, and camaraderie. To be honest, who here hasn't felt at least a little like a GAY SHEEP! With a punk rock interlude, sheer passion and energy floods the audience: “get these binaries out of biology!!” What a blast! This was thanks to the ever-impressive Mog Connolly. This performance rocked my world until I was falling off the edge of my seat. If there’s anyone who can carry such a fast-paced, upbeat tempo, and balancing it with such a charismatic persona, it’d be Mog.
Finally, a lucid and vivid trip down to the deep blue. Simply stunning outfits and costumes here. We are engrossed as we are taken on an enchanting journey of a group of clown fish. The fourth wall is broken, instantly connecting us to the story being told. A scene so majestic it puts “Under the Sea” to shame. Exploring the intricate complexities between the characters' relationships, this section was my favorite. A special mention to Waitahi Aniwaniwa McGee who really shone bright here. Waitahi’s facial expressions are simply to die for. I’m pulled in with every response and reaction, and when words aren’t needed, it’s due to a moment of expert deadpan humor.
We close with a full leather, Mick Jagger-like performance, all dancing together, inviting the audience up to dance, drilling home the point: whether you're queer, trans, non-binary, fish, bird, human, we are all here together, there is no normal, and… it's all natural.
Naturally Curious is on until Saturday the 25th of November so book your tickets at bats.co.nz before all the tickets have, naturally, gone.