Premiered at Builders Arms Hotel Melbourne 2000 as part of Midwinta Festival director Alyson Campbell
‘Gay bar in Barcelona. Every song to the same beat. Midnight. Nobody out. Flick through magazine buff shirtless man on the cover. Bar man in a cloud of smoke pretends I’m not there. Gay bar Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Prague, East Village, San Francisco, Sydney. The whole of the gay world lies waiting at my feet. I sit alone.
I sit alone, you stare at me.
You sit alone. I stare back at you.
Bison delves beneath the surface into the real lives of today’s gay men. Teenage Jason is exploring his awakening sexual identity, Tom is travelling the world with his gay guidebook in hand, 30something Simon is hungry for sex, and 48year old Richard yearns for the freedom and promiscuity of his youth. Each of them on an endless search to find the right one, the right place, and the right night that is inevitably elusive. From virtual dating to bareback sex, and nightclub hook ups to monogamy, Bison strips back, sucks out and spits at the herdlike behaviour of the gay male habitat and the rules that govern the ‘scene’.
Bison was first performed in Melbourne in 2000 by wreckedAllprods at The Builders Arms Hotel, director Alyson Campbell followed by sellout seasons in Melbourne [Victorian
Arts Centre] Sydney [Belvoir], Adelaide [Nexus] London [Oval
House] and Belfast [Brian Friel Theatre].
Published alongside Colder by PlayLab
‘Poignant, painful and painfully funny…’
‘The dialogue is quick, clever and full of terms that will strike a chord with Sydney siders. There’s so much jammed into this work that will resonate… the humour in BISON comes thick and fast… there are moments of boundless humour that shift to scenes of sheer terror, darkness and depression… they left me absolutely breathless. BISON captures the essence of today’s gay community with sheer honesty and brutality.’
‘BISON is an artfully stitchedtogether set of character portraits. Philpott’s wry take on gay life past, present and virtual is right on the money’.
“The writing is superb. It has an almost musical quality. Scenes shift, characters change and conversations dissolve into each other. And the acting is excellent….for over an hour I was hooked, transported, made to laugh and forced to think. For me, that’s what great theatre is all about.’
Paul Burston Timeout London