Most of the Star‘s male readers you’d think should drop everything for 7 Blowjobs. But let’s just get past the title for a moment.

Mac Wellman wrote this frenzied satire in 1991, at the height of the Republican Right backlash against four provocative American performance artists and the National Endowment of the Arts which funded them.

Two of the artists, Karen Finlay and an occasionally naked Tim Miller, subsequently performed in Australia -“ and without any fuss.

Wellman’s short play points to what’s hysterical about America’s Moral Majority, that incredulous righteousness that makes our own bigots seem reasonable.

Seven photographs of unnatural acts arrive unannounced at the office of Republican Senator Bob. His receptionist, assistant and political adviser then spend most of the play staring at the shots and juggling their own degrees of outrage and arousal.

Senator Bob though is more interested in who sent them and why, and calls in a televangelist for a bit of pray and tell on the office floor.

The senator’s son, Bob Junior, is also asked what he knows about the seven blowjobs -“ which seems an odd question to ask a pretty boy in loafers, pink polo short and matching cardigan.

But stop! I’m making the experience of 7 Blowjobs sound better than it is. Wellman’s characters scream so repetitively and in such a frenzy that -“ even with a room of religious Republicans -“ there is little space for any subtlety of character or idea. Wellman’s satire ends up as mindless as his targets.

He’s at his best showing off the divisions between preppy Ivy League conservatives and the self-made versions from Bob Jones University. Terry Serio adds a gravitas with his square-jawed version of a Southern senator and Belinda Bromilow is good as the deceptively astute receptionist.

Director Lee Lewis, however, is unsuccessful at securing some bedrock of truth from most of her actors and, more urgently, ensuring that they are all overacting in the same production.

A huge American flag is the impressive backdrop to the action. Perhaps, just perhaps, more excitable American audiences related better to this one-dimensional frenzied mockery of their own frenzied bigots. But I doubt it.

This Australian lover of political satire was keen to get home and watch The Chaser, and appreciate some far sharper lampooning of our own bigots -“ from guys who should be national treasures.

7 Blowjobs is a FrogBattleship Production in association with B Sharp downstairs at the Seymour Centre until Sunday.

© Star Observer 2018 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex (LGBTI) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.