At the core of Unsex'd is the struggle between talent and beauty. In a world where beauty bizarrely trumps talent, director Richie Wilcox adds humour and glitz to our society's fear of aging and loss of good looks with a wildly historically inaccurate take on two boy-players in Elizabethan times fighting over the role of Lady MacBeth.
"My friend Jay Whitehead wrote the script with his acting school cohort Daniel Judes," says Wilcox. "When Jay asked me to direct the script he talked about how underneath the catfighting and TMZ gossip in the script there is a real question about beauty versus talent."
While the essence of the play grapples with the notion of talent versus beauty, actors Whitehead and Adam Beauchesne star in Unsex'd, clad in beautiful costume and a stunning set design by David Barrus. With help of lighting designer Rob Standford, who illuminates the stage with craft and expertise, Aaron Colllier brings the mood to life with his sound design. Unsex'd offers both beauty and talent.
"Unsex'd will give the audience major laughs, a lot of campiness that takes the humour just a bit, or a lot, over the line," he says. "Some Juliet and Lady MacBeth drag, and one act of love I can assuredly say that you will have never seen onstage before."
For director Wilcox, queer theatre is paramount to his place in the world, how he found his voice, and developed his story. He strives to represent a queer paradigm, filled with imagination, colour and flair.
"I've been seeing way too much heteronormative theatre lately that either acts like queerness doesn't exist or, worse, uses queerness as the butt of the joke and is ultimately homophobic," he says. "Queer theatre combats shows like this and can help positively present a queer lifestyle."