By Tess Wheeler

As the sound of AQUA’s Barbie Girl plays through the speakers, a woman walks onstage. We watch as she tries on outfit, after outfit. It’s like we can hear her thoughts as she discards them all, questioning her own body image in the mirror. This is the start of a thoroughly unique one-woman play, called Whale.

Written and performed by Courtney McManus, Whale is a thoughtful exploration of what it’s like to be fat and gay in a society that is not always very accepting.

Courtney uses her visits to the doctor as a vehicle for reflections on her formative memories, while highlighting the way medical care is refused to those who don’t conform.

But it’s not all sad. The audience witnesses Courtney’s transformation into a strong and confident woman, watching as she navigates generational diet culture, changing room breakdowns, insensitive boys, fatness and realisation of her sexuality. And if the closing scene doesn’t leave you at least a little bit teary, I don’t know what’s wrong with you.

4/5 pelicans.

By Pelican Magazine

Pelican is the second-oldest student publication in Australia and the only independent paper at UWA. If you like having opinions, writing, drawing, and/or free tickets to local events, then Pelican is the place for you! We print six themed issues a year, and run a stream of online content.

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