FRINGE REVIEW: Poorly Drawn Shark features hilarious and biting social commentary
Poorly Drawn Shark is an autobiographical account of Perth-based performer Andrew Sutherland’s time as a jobbing actor-slash-model in Singapore. Performed with Ming Yang Lim, Poorly Drawn Shark is a series of connected vignettes which explores popular — and problematic — travel narratives that a predominantly Western, white protagonist finds meaning through Eastern culture and brown bodies.
Weaving elements of the absurd and poignant together, Andrew has created a show which poses important questions without moralising. This includes quite possibly the funniest sex scene I have encountered in theatre. I will never look at soy bean drinks the same way again. Combined with a brief history lesson in Singaporean cultural and political history, there is at times just too much going on. A bit more space to make the connections between characters and storylines would have made this the perfect Fringe World Festival show.
As someone who has possibly had one too many holiday romances with locals, this story of mutual fetishisation was particularly impactful. It served as a powerful reminder of how far I have come, and how far I have to go in being a better ally.
Andrew’s production company with Jess Nyandi, Squid Vicious is the future of WA theatre makings. Although the Fringe season of Poorly Drawn Shark has unfortunately come to an end, make sure to look out for more intersectional, interdisciplinary and queer stories from them in the year to come.