Binge Fringe Magazine

REVIEW: MONSTER, Florian Wild, Adelaide Fringe 2024 ★★★★☆

A man in a white corset dress, with a red sequined collar. A seductive strip tease routine. A woman in white lingerie, netted tights, heels. Or vice versa? A woman in a white corset dress, with a red sequined collar. A seductive trip tease routine. A man in white lingerie, netted tights, heels. “What is it?” “What am I?” Man? Woman? Monster? Florian Wild’s new show Monster subverts definitions to give an intimate portrayal of identity and all its complexities.

It’s a universal experience. The thing that catches your eye in the corner of the room that by day is a harmless piece of clothing, but in the darkness of the night takes a strange form and transforms into an object of fear. You know it’s not a monster, but you turn the light on just to confirm. Except if you’re Florian Wild. If you’re Florian Wild, you dream of the coat monster seducing you. Straddling you. Bringing you into the darkness. There’s a subconscious hidden self that this creature is speaking to, and whilst the majority of us would rather turn on the light in an attempt to assure ourselves it doesn’t exist; that we are ‘normal’, Wild greets his monster. It’s a powerful image that speaks to the conforming effect of society versus the multitudinous layers of the self. What selves do people present, and what selves do people suffocate? And what happens when we choose to discover our true self?

Through song and storytelling, Wild’s show delves into the layers of their being. A catholic education in an all-girls school, a career as a high school teacher, and finally hearing the voice of God – which was perhaps also the voice of Wild first emerging within an uncertain someone presenting as a teenage girl. Storytelling and song balance each other really well in this show; the heaviness of Wild’s stories are counteracted by the lightness and liberation of the musical performances. The musical highlight comes in Wild’s enticement for the audience to join the cult of transgenderism. A change in gender expression doesn’t necessitate joining the cult; merely a curious mind and the knowledge that humanity and monstrosity are two sides of the same coin.

Part-art, part-activism and one-hundred-percent arse appreciation, Monster is a compelling show which dispels fear and ignorance about transgender identities. Go to the show. Become inaugurated. Appreciate for an hour the bravery, beauty and humanity of Wild.

Recommended Drink: A glass of Shiraz – rich, provocative, and bold; in keeping with Wild’s style.

Catch Monster until the 3rd of March. Tickets can be purchased through the Adelaide Fringe Box Office.

Eilidh McKenzie

Eilidh is a writer, reader and avid watcher of film, television and theatre. She loves writing that blends comedy with darkness, and makes public the quirks of life and character that we've been taught to hide. She also aspires to be fluent in Spanish, but so far this has proved far harder than expected.

Festivals: Adelaide Fringe (2024)
Pronouns: She/Her