Arts & Entertainment

REVIEW: Panimo Pandemonium Presents ‘MISC’

Photo: Panimo

BY SHON HO

Part of the Panimo Pandemonium Festival at Kings Cross Theatre, supporting 15 new works by emerging artists over eight weeks – MISC, presented by Gaptooth Productions, celebrates comedy and identity whilst delivering frank social truths.

MISC, directed by Fresh Ink ATYP resident Eric Jiang, follows two biracial actors in Sydney looking for their next big break. Slogging their way through auditions to no avail, Bea (Dominque Purdue) and Jasmine (Sophie Teo) bond over their shared experience of being half white and half Asian in an industry perplexed by their ethnic ambiguity.

Malaysian Singaporean-Australian Jasmine describes herself as a ‘mango pancake from yumcha’ and makes her grandma’s Char Kway Teow without chilli for her white, ‘no spice’ boyfriend. Filipino-Australian Bea delivers impassioned monologues about the cultural significance of BTS and sobs loudly whilst watching Korean dramas. Tensions arise when the best friends are put up against each other for the same role.

Co-written by Purdue and Teo, MISC deftly navigates clever laughs and nuanced conversations about cultural identity and existing in the in-between. In an industry lacking diversity where Asian identities are often lumped together as a monolith, the friends grapple with the struggles of being seen as too white or not Asian enough. Purdue and Teo are a dynamic duo with quick witted chemistry. They tell their stories with honesty and a bold voice; bringing heart to the stage as their characters come to realise that the industry can be big enough for both of them and that they have the agency to make space for themselves if it isn’t. The creative team behind MISC, have certainly carved out that space and triumphantly claimed it as their own.

The sellout season of MISC ran from February 7-9.

The Panimo Pandemonium Festival continues until March 13. Info: www.kingsxtheatre.com

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