The Local Lesbians (Chapel Off Chapel) – narrative concert review

An endearing, entertaining, humorous and poignant narrative concert about finding comfort in your own skin, The Local Lesbians are a breath of fresh air. For 70 minutes without interval, they harmonise and drop anecdotes about the pitfalls and pleasures of coming out and being out. These are three talented women of strength and conviction, accompanied by a skilful pianist. Always tuneful, they complement each other in song and prose.

Among the many highlights is when Ruby, violin in hand, fiddles up a storm in the rousing Charlie Daniels’ number The Devil Went Down to Georgia. And it is in between tunes (16 of them) – some reflective, others up tempo and rebellious – that the yarn spinning takes shape. From the best to the worst things about being a lesbian, from first blush to awkward encounters, from the feels to the bizarre, the stories keep pouring out. A lesbian checklist and gay poets are among others that get a look in.

Whether funny or distressing, most importantly what is said feels real. And don’t we – the audience – just love that authenticity. In short, it is oh so relatable. Chloe, Tash and Ruby are all about human emotion writ large. And while they are at it, they are warm and friendly, and having a wow of a time. Their energy and enjoyment in what they are doing is plastered all over their faces and we feed off that. Candidly, who doesn’t long for that spark … for the joy that true connection can bring, but lust and love are often complicated and messy. That is dealt with in spades by The Local Lesbians.

As I see it, their show is an unbridled celebration of being true to oneself, notwithstanding bear traps along the way. It is only appropriate then that one of their last numbers is a Lily Allen song that extends the middle finger to the bigots. Any opportunity to catch The Local Lesbians is a good day. They are heaps of fun and bounce off each other brilliantly. They are playing at Chapel Off Chapel, as part of Midsumma, until 28th January, 2024. Thereafter, you can follow them on Facebook, Instagram and other socials.

Alex First