Oh yes they did!

Put on a show that makes the audience bawl out sing-song lines in synchrony? Yeah, that. Put on a panto? Sort of. Virginia Gay’s The Boomkak Pantois not the pure kind of pantomime – what’s homage without a critical shakedown in modern theatre? (The answer: simpering, dull.) No, friends, it’s a panto within a play which is self-referentially gussied up to the nines with flamboyant panto flourishes; a tickling of the form to modern sensibilities, updated cultural values and an Aussie stage.

The Boomkak Panto The Boomkak Panto

Hijacking the radical exploding of the rules of tradition that pantomime enshrines, this surprisingly long two-and-a-half-hour two-acter unleashes a motherlode of “chaotic good” energy to cleave a clever through-line of a non-binary romance and comment on the caricatures that we become when we perform the roles that are ‘safe’. Never fear though: the progressive themes are snuck in without too much on-the-nose earnestness. With big Tina Arena numbers, glittery tassels, an Aladdincarpet costume, a paint named “white privilege” and much,...