We’re not hopeless — a review of Courtney Act’s Fluid (2020)

Live at Sydney’s Eternity Playhouse Theatre
Starring Courtney Act
Featuring Yanya Boston, Conrad Hamill, Marc Malouf and Netanel Abisedon

Yesterday I jumped on a plane from Melbourne to Sydney for a front row seat to the opening night of Courtney Act’s Fluid at the beautiful Eternity Playhouse Theatre. Spoiler alert — it was worth it.

In Fluid Courtney (AKA Shane Jenek) leads the audience through the deeply personal journey of Shane’s self discovery and education in sexuality, love and gender fluidity. The journey is often times bumpy and heart-wrenching but always has an undercurrent of hope.

From the opening silhouette, Fluid showcases many of Courtney’s talents. Having co-written all of the songs in Fluid, Courtney performs them with incredible vocal talents and dance numbers that range from fun Broadway style numbers to graceful ballroom dancing — once again illustrating that Courtney and Shane and Josh were robbed on Dancing With The Stars. Throughout the show is a well-balanced mix of comedy, intelligent discourse and stunning costume changes. 

Each of the original songs in Fluid tells its own intimate story and they are all fantastic, but I would like to highlight and talk about just a few of my favourites. ’Vienna Tryst’ is a breathtakingly beautiful song with vocals and visuals reminiscent of the golden age of James Bond themes. ‘I’m Just a Man’ pairs comedy with education and a dance number that made me think of the eternally gorgeous Liza in Cabaret. ‘Hetroflexible’ is a wonderful number that is cheeky and poptastic, and leads perfectly into the story that inspired ‘Vienna Tryst’. 

I would love to see a soundtrack released for Fluid because I feel like these songs and the stories they tell are important as well as being well written (sometimes catchy) songs. I’m still singing ‘I’m Just a Man’.

I cannot recommend Fluid enough to anyone who has the opportunity to see it, regardless of your own personal sexuality or gender identity. There are beautiful songs, gorgeous costumes, poignant true stories, many laughs, a few tears and most of all — a relatable narrator who shares their real life experiences in a way that entertains and engages. 

– CJ


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