Review: The Curse of the Golden Dildo

Reviewed By Cody Fullbrook

The Curse of the Golden Dildo has protruded its way to 2022 FRINGE. Tucked away in Curtin University’s Hymen Theatre…HAYMAN Theatre…sorry…20-something apartment tenant, June, receives a mysterious golden dildo from her great grandmother, and with her contentious roommate, Sage, both must handle the embarrassment and eventual lethal curse of this deadly and distasteful delivery.


June and Sage are distinct and played with a classic straight man/comic relief dynamic. June walks reservedly, rarely raising her voice while Sage, constantly in pyjamas, writhes and bursts with energy. Both actresses speak clearly and unhurriedly, even with many lines stretched out needlessly when a simple “Yes”, “No”, “Who”, or “Now what?” would suffice. TCOTGD even contains the dreaded “You’ve known me for years” phrase, said by overly elucidatory fictional friends and by nobody in real life.


Still, all performers move with a comfortable grace and use practically every item on their delightfully elaborate set, giving the environment a truly lived in feel. Aside from several moments when June wanders off to reminisce (Conveniently facing the audience head-on), all actors utilize their believable apartment with seamless blocking. One moment, they’re freaking out on their couch before gathering around the kitchen table, purposefully and without pretense. A tossed Pringles can is later picked up and tidied. Food and drinks are real and actually consumed. There’s even a dance routine that was far more elaborate and polished than it ever needed to be. Most appreciated of all is a sink, twice acknowledged to be broken. One would initially assume this to be a lazy explanation of the fact that, you know, it’s fake, but could also be seen as an illustration of the roommate’s financial trouble while forcing them to use items from the fridge, eliminating the awkwardness of someone conjuring drinking water from offstage as if from the shower or toilet.


While the set is impressive, we never venture beyond the room. Perfectly fine if the conflict was directly affecting the two friends, however, the curse of the titular cursed dildo is beset upon others who are unseen, unheard, and only referenced during dialogue and on the local news, forcing us to sit and watch characters sit and watch. June and Sage never disagree or fight over the object, and even after meeting a demon (Yes. A demon), all three casually discuss their problem and get along almost immediately, despite him looking like the stunted offspring of Waluigi and Samara from The Ring.


It’s a common trend with many productions of its length that the story feels half complete, culminating in a lukewarm climax before petering out to a reluctant finish. Small narrative detours involving feet pics, Tindr, smoking joints, and sexy TV stars have potential to form important character details, but with no payoffs in its 45-minute runtime, they retroactively turn the show into a frivolously flaccid FRINGE feature, fundamentally.


Well performed and with a couple crude laughs, The Curse of the Golden Dildo’s brevity and penchant for the profane places it nicely amongst other back-to-back shows, but is hurt by its isolation, both from other accessible productions, as well as it’s location, tucked away at Curtin University. So, unlike its aforementioned object of importance, it’s simply unable to find a place to fit in.

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