Review by Kate Gaul
After a pandemic-induced hiatus from Brisbane’s Queensland Theatre and multiple delays in 2021 for its Sydney opening, “Triple X” from the two-time award-winning playwright, comedian and proud trans woman Glace Chase is here! Best described as a twist on the recognizable rom-com, “Triple X” is a trans love story that’s told from the trans perspective.
Writer Glace Chase – who also plays Dexie - reveals enormous vulnerability, drawing on her own experience of working in the New York drag scene and the challenges of pursuing love as a trans woman.
Directed by Sydney Theatre Company’s associate director Paige Rattray “Triple X” is the story of a Wall Street banker Scotty (Josh McConville) disappearing in a life of expectation, overindulgence on booze and drugs, and the care of his uptight mother (the night I saw it, Cheree Cassidy), lesbian activist sister (Contessa Treffone), and high society fiancée Kymberly (Nicole Hoskins); his best mate Jase completes the inner circle (the night I saw it, Anthony Taufa). Scotty discovers happiness in an affair with Dexie (Glace Chase), a trans woman and performer he meets at a local bar. But there’s his imminent marriage and the financial and emotional demands of his family pulling him against his course. The clock ticks as we breathlessly await for worlds to inevitably collide.
The story is told in a mix up of times and locations (a swanky Manhattan loft apartment and the club where Dexie works); there’s an extended sex scene; lots of laughs around the use of almond oil; a Chekhovian gun (literally); some fabulous costumes and at its core a tender, moving an tragic love story between two people - is the world ready accept and navigate the complexities of this unexpected relationship?
The magnificent cast is lead by the incredible Josh McConville – proving once again his extraordinary versatility, stamina, and charisma. The scenes between Chase and McConville are where we encounter the heart the play. These scenes are often funny (as befits the genre) but turn on a dime as we witness the characters’ intense vulnerability – strangers who become lovers who become each other’s lifeline. A good play has both laughter and tears. “Triple X” delivers!
Shout out to cast member Nicole Hoskins (Scott’s fiancée hell bent on a beautiful wedding captured for the New York Times) – a spectacular entrance, a breath taking scene – she nails it. Ms Hoskins personifies the truism there are no small roles!
It would be unfair to give way to spoilers. Go see this show – a timely reminder that the mainstream can support stories from and about the trans community. I hope this is a step towards opening our main stages to diverse playwrights, performers and, importantly, audiences.
Image Credit: Prudence Upton