If you witnessed someone hurl a burger at a transgender person whilst also shouting ‘’tranny’’ at them, would you intervene or would you walk on by?
It happened to performance artist Travis Alabanza at Waterloo station in 2016. No one intervened. Alabanza has taken this crime and manifested its narrative into a powerful insight into gender discrimination and violence, which is something that we learn is rapidly on the rise. Ever since this incident, Alabanza became obsessed with the burger and its construction. The aim of Burgerz was for Alabanza
Alabanza invites the audience in a playful and biting manner to question and review our role as allies and our complicity to these crimes. The show is powerful and extremely moving from beginning to end. Sam Curtis Linsday directs with great compassion and energy for the show’s pace. Burgerz is a show that offers an urgent engagement with its audience that serves as a call to action.
The writing is sharp and the audience engagement is addressed with great hilarity that conveys Alabanza’s charm and charisma. Soutra Gilmour’s set is a simple wooden container that opens up to a realm of boxes that compliments the theme of the show successfully.
Burgerz is emotional and difficult but it is also necessary viewing for our times. Alabanza packs a punch with great spirit in this piece that will leave audiences reeling with a greater awareness for our role as bystanders.
Burgerz runs until October 12th as part of Dublin Theatre Festival in Smock Alley Theatre’s Main Space.
Review by Chloe Murphy