Playmate: ‘Resident Alien’ at Reginald Theatre

July 14th 2016

Resident Alien 3

Step into the bedroom of Quentin Crisp: a nude model, queer icon and agony aunt for those who detest chores and convention. He is 90 years old, watching Oprah, and about to get ready for lunch out in his beloved New York.

Quentin Crisp is the Resident Alien, a British Queer in a New York that really is ‘just like the movies’. This version of Crisp is played by Paul Capsis – an icon in his own right, proven by the five Helpmanns under his belt – who fills the large shoes of the enigma despite his boasted dainty feet.

Even within the confines of the filthy boarding room, the play leaves a lot of space for Capsis to fill. He is acting in real time, and doesn’t have the props of plot or other characters to propel his journey into the psyche and history of Crisp. The hour and a half you spend with this man is intimate and sweet, laced with hilarious observations from his sharp and acidic tongue.

Capsis is funny, dry, stark and true to the enormous character he portrays. He makes beauty, vulnerability and isolation the heart of your time with the androgynous icon, who, while saying he relishes the solitude, relies entirely on the audience to exist, experiment and fill his time.

This reliance on the crowd means Resident Alien is more like an evening with Crisp than a play about him. It’s worth going for a visit, a brilliant set and one of the more luxurious wigs in Sydney.

WHAT: Resident Alien
WHERE: Reginald Theatre, The Seymour Centre, Chippendale
WHEN: Until July 23
HOW MUCH: Students from $28 / Adults from $48 via Seymour Centre


Read more from Samantha Groth

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