By Milly Randall, first year English
Milly Randall gets intimate with some 'Absurd Feminist Character Comedy' theatre
Entering the theatre, it is clear through the appreciative murmurs and eruptions of laughter that the audience members are unanimous in their appreciation for the backdrop of the enormous, centre stage, gold, fabric vagina.
If not already evident through the set design, a post-Weinstein style speech, delivered by a glamorous and unstable film star, alerts us to the premise of Queen C*nt: learning to embrace and celebrate the vagina, and reclaim its most original label which has been so corrupted.
"sitting in the front three rows is perhaps a questionable decision for anyone with an aversion to the limelight…"
This absurd skit-comedy is woven together through the sensual voice of the ‘Big Clit,’ (onto which Naomi Smyth’s face is projected) which immediately hypnotises the audience with her unequivocal confidence in her sexuality. Her empowering wisdom and hilarious moaning interludes, simultaneously highlight and ridicule the taboo of all the facets of female sexual pleasure.
Deborah Antoinette and China Blue Fish have an uncanny ability to gauge the mood of the room, and command and channel the audience’s energy - occasionally with force - and for this reason sitting in the front three rows is perhaps a questionable decision for anyone with an aversion to the limelight…
Yet, it is undeniable that some sketches are stronger than others, the inability of Mike Buchanan to pronounce ‘feminist’ seeming somewhat obvious and, as the joke overran, tiresome. However, this is largely forgiven by the audience’s understanding of the light-hearted tone of the self-proclaimed ‘Absurd Feminist Character Comedy’ genre.
Perhaps the most poignant sketch is Antoinette’s Frida Kahlo interpretation. Her unsettlingly agile movement from character to character is again revealed. Indeed, her portrayal of Kahlo’s honouring of the strength in her femininity and sexuality is concluded with a refreshingly sombre exploration about what it means to “truly revere a woman”.
Preceding this is an achingly relevant satire of Theresa May’s notorious ‘Dancing Queen’ disaster, which later dismantles the patriarchal trope of women who are forced to adopt stereotypically masculine attributes so as to appear authoritative, and finishes with a hyper-sexualised, hysterical caricature of May gyrating at the front row.
Although the expositional premise of the performance is reclaiming the eponymous title for the vagina, sadly the lack of enthusiasm from many audience members to embrace the full profanity of the final ‘hymn’ (changed to ‘hyrr’) the audience sings at the end, indicates that Queen C*nt: Sacred or Profane? answers its own question: the word is, unfortunately, still considered profane.
Feature image: Unsplash / Charles Deluvio
Did you see Queen C*nt? If so, what did you think? Let us know in the comments below or on social media.