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Event: I Wanna Be Mark Wahlberg

It’s quite straightforward really – I want a modelling deal with Calvin Klein circa 1992 to take some black and white photos in nothing but my tight undies and a backwards cap where I’ll take hold of my HUGE penis while making a face that says ‘you want a man, I’ll give you man’.

Developed as part of Basement Theatre’s 2020 Ideas in Residence programme, Melody Rachel’s third and latest solo work, I Wanna Be Mark Wahlberg, explores every possible avenue to get to the bottom of her relationship with masculinity. Or is it femininity? Both? Neither? Part of Auckland Pride Festival 2021, playing in the Studio at Basement Theatre from 09 – 13 February, she invites you to watch on as she absolutely-completely-unequivocally-without-a-shadow-of-a-doubt figures it out.

Part theatre, part dance, part spaghetti – I Wanna Be Mark Wahlberg is an intimate theatrical encounter that examines the complexities of gender and identity. It looks to pull, stretch, and explore what it means to be a person in the world who grew up understanding it through one lens, and how that can shift. And shift again. And again. And again. And then revert. And divert. And shift once more. It’s shifting as we speak. most likely, it will still be shifting when you come to the show.

Melody is a person.

Some days she feels like a lion.
By this, she means that she feels brave and bold.

Some days she feels like a wet blanket.
By this, she means that she feels uninspired and miserable.

Some days she wants to be Mark Wahlberg.
By this, she means…what does she mean?
What do you think she means?

Melody Rachel grew up in a conservative household where her gender could only be one of two things. It shaped the way she interprets people, herself and the world, but she’s come to realise it’s only a partial picture. Now that she’s a grown up, she gets to overthink all of it. Thankfully, she discovered performance art. Her foray into the world of performance art began in Sydney, Australia under the watchful eye of her friend and first mentor, Deborah Pollard (the dramaturg for her last show – I Know What I’m Doing). Last year, on an almost-whim, she signed up for the Auckland Fringe Festival 2020 where she performed I Know What I’m Doing and won The Basement Theatre Disruptor Award. As a result of this, Melody worked with award-winning performance artist Julia Croft, to shape this ever-shifting piece. So while it may seem I Wanna Be Mark Wahlberg is all abs and tight boxers – it actually looks more like deconstructing performative gender expectations and redefining norms.

I Wanna Be Mark Wahlberg

By Melody Rachel

The Basement Theatre – Studio

9-13 February 2021, 6.30pm

Tickets $18/$25

Bookings here

Suitable for mature audiences.


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