Review by Hannah Fredriksson
Miss Olympus is based on the myth of the Golden Apple, with the goddesses Athena, Hera and Aphrodite competing in a classic beauty pageant to be named fairest in the land in order to claim the famed prize. Perth drag queen Liberty Genre proves to be a quadruple threat, having written, directed, produced and starred in this production that takes a modern spin on a tale as old as time.
The show is presented as though it’s a live taping with a studio audience, revealing the antics that occur behind the scenes during the ad breaks. Zeus has tasked Paris of Troy with hosting and judging the contest, and he does so with glee. Played by the inimitable Skye Scraper, Paris is incredibly vain and absolutely thrives on the audience’s attention. Skye seems to be enjoying themself in this role, and it’s an absolute joy to watch.
Making sure the entire competition comes together is the cheeky messenger god Hermes. Blake Casette has the right amount of sass and exasperation dealing with Paris and making sure the stage is set just right for the contest.
Danisa Snake plays Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war. You have to have a certain amount of tenacity for a role like this, and Danisa has it in spades. Her dance entry for the talent portion of the evening was pure fire, she absolutely commands the stage.
The queen of the gods Hera is played by Liberty Genre herself, bringing a feminist slam poetry piece which is so tragic it’s good. She carries herself with the poise and confidence of the queen of the gods.
Cece Desist rounds out the trio as Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. She brings a sultry old Hollywood presence to the role which is incredibly endearing. Her talent is her wonderful singing voice which is as smooth as butter and never falters. She also utilises her dramatic facial expressions to comedic effect.
After discovering that the contest was rigged from the beginning, the Goddesses decide to band together and literally flip the script on Paris and Zeus, deciding that it is not for men to measure their worth and that they will no longer compete for their approval. It’s a cleverly constructed allegory for subverting the male gaze, encouraging women to unite in lifting each other up rather than competing for the favour of men.
This show is a smorgasbord of stunning costumes, the queens looked immaculate dripping in gold and with hair that was as high as the heavens. All the performers felt really natural in their roles and gave a part of themselves to the characters, at no point did it feel like they were just reading words from a script (except when they were literally reading Zeus’ script).
Miss Olympus is a fun, campy production that is bursting with local talent and creativity. Delivering a positive message without skimping on entertainment, what more could you want from a Fringe show?