Constructed as verbatim theatre out of interviews Catherine McGregor has given over her lifetime, Still Point Turning: the Catherine McGregor Story is less a narrative, or the ever popular trans narrative, and more a staged biopic, simply explaining what happened and what it felt like for McGregor to live through it. I had a lot of misgivings about this production when it was first announced; thinking that with her politics and position, McGregor didn’t have anything new to say to me. After reading assistant director Charles O’Grady’s Audrey Journal article about his experience within the production and considering McGregor’s impact on Australian discourse throughout her transition, I realised I was approaching this story all wrong.
Charles O’Grady’s third original play makes a return to the stage at Kings Cross Theatre as part of Sydney’s 2018 Mardi Gras. Are We Awake? details a crucial morning in the lives of Endymion (Mathew Lee) and Hypnos (Daniel Monks) as they navigate the complexities of their relationship. O’Grady’s script is a well-balanced one which flows smoothly between the joy, desire, frustration, anger, and (dis)comfort of contemporary queerness, disability, love, and external practicalities. It’s a balance placed in the safe hands of director Sarah Hadley who adds a delicate direction to the two-hander.