BWW Review: JUNIPER AND JULES, VAULT Festival
Juniper (Stella Taylor) meets Jules (Gabriella Schmidt) in a club and they go home together. One has always liked girls, the other isn't entirely sure what she stands. The former is a homebody, the latter doesn't like to follow the rules.
When Jules introduces the idea of polygamy into their relationship, her girlfriend is initially baffled but goes along with it for the other one's sake.
Stephanie Martin writes a delicate yet biting tale of queer love, compromise, and truthfulness. Director Beth Pitts keeps it fresh using a thrust stage that gives the audience a voyeuristic point of view into the story.
The deterioration of their partnership is painful to watch, the two too-different women struggling against the willingness to try to make it work and their own sexual and personal needs. Taylor and Schmidt are thrilling in the roles.
They share an enthralling chemistry as portraying the descent of a relationship not void of good-hearted lesbian humour. Martin also tackles crucial issues like the disregard bisexuals face in the community. "You're not better than me because you're gayer" Jules shouts during an argument.
By picturing the emotional landscape of modern queer women, the playwright overthrows the preconceived notions and prejudice that surround the community. Reality quickly takes the place of a world seen through rose-tinted glasses in this dissection of lesbian identity.
It's authenticity that sets Juniper and Jules apart, opening the doors to a subject that's rarely portrayed on stage analysing commitment, love, and desire with raw and keen writing.