Thanks to shows like Rupaul’s Drag Race and Lip Sync Battle, the art of lip syncing has become far too mainstream for its own good.
You see, lip syncing emerged in queer nightclubs as a way to subvert heteronormative narratives.
One could either push a pop song to some camp and kooky place, or splice together movie dialogue to tell a thoroughly queer tale, one recognisable by its parts but transformative as a whole.
It’s this latter premise that Perth based drag queen Ginava encapsulates in their one-person debut show, Split Lip.
The result is a rather incredible 50-minute exploration of mental health and self-acceptance, all told through snippets of dialogue stitched together from a selection of famous movies, TV shows and spoken word recordings.
Throughout the show, alter-egos like Snort, Vapid, God Warrior and Boiler all take the spotlight at different times to assist Ginava in piecing together exactly what’s going on. Each persona essentially encapsulates a different coping mechanism, be it drugs, promiscuity or self-loathing.
Beneath all of this is a deep-rooted trauma that is brought closer and closer to the surface, resulting in a stark confrontation of that which is broken and can break a person.
But there is beauty in that breaking, in how it manifests, how it transforms the body and those inhabiting it, all of which Ginava portrays with aplomb.
While at times Split Lip does have the occasional squeaky wheel, the overarching aesthetic of this show is that of a performer fearlessly and flawlessly switching between characters in a manner that honours the legendary spirit of lip sync itself.
Over the course of recent FRINGE WORLD Festivals, Ginava has evolved to become a stand out star of the local drag scene. Split Lip is a critical step in their evolution, further cementing Ginava’s presence as one to watch.