If you’ve ever found yourself waiting endlessly in a queue, Winnie may have the answer to your boredom. She might look like a vagrant and she might be invasive, but Winnie is an entertainer. She hides out in a cleaning cupboard near International Departure Lounge 64 and brings light relief to the passengers who pass through. She has her own collection of wigs, costumes and even her own soundtrack, but her skits go far deeper than playacting.
Gate 64 offers a whimsical look at life on the fringes of society. Writer and performer Jane Watt creates a divisive, chaotic character in Winnie. She’s both in-your-face and a consummate observer, thriving on the everyday tensions of travellers as they pass through the terminal. Her stories might seem extreme but they feature real people from her past, lost to disillusion and death. Watt is quietly mercurial, switching roles deftly and layering Winnie’s character with a rich if unconventional past.
The laughs come easily to Watt, who enjoys a career as a character-based comedian in her home town of Sydney. Oddly it’s not the comedy that resonates here, but the patches of tragedy that stand out in an otherwise amusing monologue.