Vertigo Article: 'Sapphically Challenged' Review 'Sapphically Challenged' Review

Vertigo Article: 'Sapphically Challenged' Review

From fits of laughter to uncomfortable silences, the play skillfully immersed the audience into the lives of the protagonists, witnessing both the extreme highs and lows of their adolescence.

By Phoebe Quinn (she/her)

Sapphically Challenged, a staged reading presented by the Sydney University Dramatic Society (SUDS) is a beautiful telling of a queer relationship and the trials and tribulations of coming to terms with one's identity. Developed over the course of the last year, their performance on Saturday was their debut in front of a public audience. After much workshopping by a passionate group of creatives, the play represents a relationship that captures the familiar turmoils of love and loss and everything in between.

Throughout the play, protagonists Bella and Maya learn to navigate the complexities of an ever-changing childhood friendship including the comfort and even occasional awkwardness that they find in each other's company. Bella struggles to reconcile her Catholic upbringing with her queer identity and newly-realised romantic love for her best friend. In Bella’s monologues, she speaks directly to God, providing key insight into her deepest emotions and desires.

Maya, on the other hand, has her whole life planned out. She places rigid expectations on herself and plans to marry and start a family with her highschool boyfriend and live happily and heteronormatively ever after. As the play progresses and time passes, the two reach a point of zero communication. That is, until one night out during university when the pair reunite in a turn of fate that forever changes them and forces them to face their sexuality head on. 

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