Original Showing: Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Review By: Brian Merriman

Summerhall, Edinburgh
Time 1.00pm
Duration: 60 minutes
Written and Perfromed by Max Perry.

Baklâ is quite a story. We meet ‘Max’ son of a British father and a Filipina. He is definitely in this story, culturally the latter but for those rarer qualities on this Fringe circuit, his enunciation, diction and projection are flawless. 

Max Perry is a physical actor, who uses his whole body to communicate, either through dance, seduction or aireal skills. Baklâ is an insult in the Philippines - it feminises men and masculinises women. It is not a kind expression. Neither is colonialism. 

His episodic story flits seemlesslessy bridgeing history and the present, from self-exploitation, race and colonisation in a moving reminder of race and dominance that resonates and impacts. 

The Spanish invasion of the Philippines is not a dominant feature of western history books. His reminder about forced conversion to Catholicism, loss of culture and loss of identity is profound. The fact that the Philippines was a transaction at the end of the 19th century is a shock to some. 

Max's use of the stage, the audience, religious imagery, his body, a mirror and his rich text weaves a tapestry of colour, humour and power that makes the hour of this theatre seem all too short. Max Perry is an actor, an athlete of the theatre both physically and intellectually, and he has quite a story to tell. Go see it.