#fringebuzz with Avery Burrow and Emily Murdoch of Linge Sale
by Caleigh Crow
Linge Sale is a new queer play from Avery Burrow about loss, familial ties, and values inherited from the previous generation. It centers around Natalie, a young lesbian who is reunited with her homophobic mother after her father’s death. The women end up in small town Quebec to scatter his ashes when a secret is revealed.
As far as family dramas go, Linge Sale breaks the mould and presents a contemporary and honest take on the genre. As the play progresses, the audience discovers that what was presumed a secret was actually just the truth denied. Through all these layers the themes of the show shine through, explored through Avery’s characters.
Emily Murdoch, director, says, “Avery wrote these characters who are so strong and vulnerable, and at the end of the day there’s a question about how do we deal with the stuff that’s coming to us from the older generation.”
Linge Sale also contributes young characters who are joyful in their acceptance of their identities, mentors to an older generation. Murdoch says, “I often feel that queer plays are about young people who are depressed about being queer, and who don’t know how to exist.”
She continues, “So, to see the roles reversed, where the young people know what they’re about and they’re trying to navigate the intergenerational gap between where we are and where our parents and grandparents are is such a unique experience.”
It’s reaffirming for Murdoch and Avery to be working on this project together. Murdoch is a powerhouse in the Feminist theatre scene, and working on this project with Avery is reaffirming to both of their identities and professional values. Murdoch says, “Every so often I step out of feminist queer theatre and I look around and realize that there exists a whole other sector in theatre that doesn’t understand my identity and thinks it’s a joke.” Murdoch is quick to follow, “That’s not to say that anytime I step out of the scene it’s terrible, but I just find that working with people who understand who I am, who have common experiences, who understand that there’s another layer to this piece of art – that speaks to us in a way that is maybe a little deeper because we don’t always get that representation.”
Avery remarks, “I’m happy to be writing something queer and to be working with a queer team.” She adds, “I think a lot of people think the queer community is one thing, but it’s really what we make for ourselves.”
Avery is happy to contribute to the canon of LGBTQ plays. “I think we’re moving into a time where now people are writing stories that happen to have gay characters or transgender characters. Linge Sale wouldn’t exist if the characters were straight, but it’s also not a coming out story, and it’s a story about a relationship and about families. I think it’s good to be a part of that wave,” Avery says.