Readings From The Gay Book Of Lists The Stage Renegades (HK) Fringe Studio January 24 There are jokes you either get or don't. Readings From The Gay Book Of Lists threw out so many direct and witty punch-lines that most were hard to miss. Set in a sweaty, body-popping disco, Dino Mahoney, Susie Wilkins, Amber Matthews and Bruce Parker, took turns in reading extracts from The Gay Book of Lists by Leigh Rutledge.
This satirical piece contains a series of quotes that show how homosexuality has been perceived throughout the ages. Some are so ridiculous that one can only laugh. For instance, taking home economics lessons was considered a cause of 'queerness', while boys taught by mainly female teachers were likely to become homosexuals.
'Characteristics of Gay Men & How to Spot a Budding Queer' and 'Characteristics of Lesbians' highlighted the stereotypes of homosexuality: gay men have smooth skin and large and easily aroused nipples, while lesbians have hairy upper lips and a 'butch' woman looks better in a pair of boxer shorts than a man.
Most of them are laughable. There were more. Cures for homosexuality include castration, drug therapy (to curb the libido) and brain surgery, while a strategically placed 'erection alarm' will stop boys on the verge of 'abusing themselves'.
Some of the jokes in 'Gay Graffiti' are funny but not original, like: 'Old fairies never die, they just blow away' and others are funny but not suitable for publication here. Though some of the material was old, the four actors delivered their lines with a style that made them fresh.
Mahoney and Parker were superbly camp in their deliveries without going over the top. Wilkins and Matthews were wonderfully sarcastic. In fact, most of the laughs from the audience came not so much from the vast repertoire of gay jokes but the pathetic and bigoted prejudice against homosexuality in the past and today. An hilarious and thought-provoking evening.