'Raw, sexy and salacious' ★★★★★ — Bullet Theatre: FREAK @ PRSC

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Online Arts Editor Helena Raymond-Hayling checks out the debut production from Bullet Theatre, FREAK.

FREAK is a play I've been excited about for a while, Bullet Theatre's debut show explores female sexuality, self-image and sexual exploitation: issues at the forefront of discussions among young women today.

unabashedly turning heads and awakening the limp and fallow members of every man in London.

This production interweaves Anna Jordan’s poetic writing and innovative physical theatre to follow the sex lives of 15-year-old Leah and 30-year-old Georgie.

The show is held at PRSC Space, an awesome venue for this kind of production. I arrive a little early and am encouraged to look over at some of the artworks on sale from Bristol-based female artists. Some of these are truly gorgeous, all depicting the feminine, the female body and the experience of women.

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Epigram / Helena Raymond-Hayling

A venue for gigs, exhibitions and workshops, the PRSC venue has been transformed into a cosy studio stage — the set in the corner resembling a teenage bedroom — complete with elephant-printed paraphernalia and fairy lights.

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Epigram / Helena Raymond-Hayling

a kind of animalistic lust which ordinarily feels unsavoury and taboo communicated by the mouths and bodies of women.

The production opens on Georgie, played by Thomy Lawson. She and the lascivious ensemble twist, grind and jut in a raw, sexy and salacious opening spectacle. Georgie recounts a decadent fantasy of dancing in Trafalgar Square, unabashedly turning heads and awakening the limp and fallow members of every man in London.

Lawson ... struts about the stage, rolling vulgarities off her tongue with effortless tenacity and grit.

The group moan in orgasmic lechery as Georgie details her climax — the poetic words of Anna Jordan piquing audience attention. The group successfully express a kind of animalistic lust which ordinarily feels unsavoury and taboo communicated by the mouths and bodies of women.

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Epigram / Helena Raymond-Hayling

We follow Georgie as she gets a job as a stripper, lying about her age and yearning to feel desired and worshipped. She taunts the men she dances for, deriding them for their pitiful sexual endeavours while stripping them of their cash and getting her own kicks for free. 'I don't mind being a thing, I don't need their respect', Lawson crows as Georgie struts about the stage, rolling vulgarities off her tongue with effortless tenacity and grit.

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Facebook / Bullet Theatre

Alongside Georgie's delicious adventures in smut and hedonism we hear from Leah, played by Ruth Wormington. Leah is 15 year old girl trying to find her place in the ever confusing charade of womanhood, whose farcical encounters with her crush Luke are hilarious and grievously relatable.

Where Georgie is coy and lusty, Leah is demure and flustered. She is exploring what it means to feel sexual pleasure, and details her encounter with Luke with anxiety and excitement — 'I started to get wet between my legs and that felt very grown up.'

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Facebook / Bullet Theatre

She fears that entering into a sexual domain will change her, toying with what that means for her value as a person - 'How much longer will this be mine?'.

Female sexuality is ... inhibited by society's expectations of virginal purity and female modesty.

She is young and free spirited, finding the concept of being a sexual being rather daunting and looks to others for inspiration — 'I don't know how to be sexy but Rihanna can show me'.

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Facebook / Bullet Theatre

This play powerfully explores the two extremes of sexuality that young women will often feel at some time in their life — being decadently empowered and boundlessly carnal and lusty, and like Leah, afraid, vulnerable and prudish.

FREAK gives a window into a female narrative, in a world overpowered by the male gaze

Female sexuality for her is tainted and inhibited by society's expectations of virginal purity and female modesty. Georgie experiences the thrill and the hurt associated with being an object of desire, and Leah experiences shame and embarrassment about her body and sharing sexual experiences with another person.

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Facebook / Bullet Theatre

FREAK gives a window into a female narrative, in a world overpowered by the male gaze, and the turbulence of navigating a world from two very different but also very similar characters. A truly marvelous debut from a talented grassroots organisation of women that are undoubtedly going to take the Bristol theatre scene by storm — Bullet Theatre are one to watch.

★★★★★

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Facebook / Bullet Theatre

Tickets here // Event here


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AUTHOR

Helena Raymond-Hayling

Online editor for Epigram Arts and final year physicist. Trying to learn Arabic. Ambivalent about marmite.

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