Made up of Victoria Falconer-Pritchard, Tessa Waters and Rowena Hutson Fringe Wives Club’s Glittery Clittery: A ConSENSUAL Party is a feminist fiesta, a religious experience for those of us willing to join them in their Clitterati, and I for one certainly am!
Part comedy cabaret, part game-show, the work opens with an invitation to say “Fuck the patriarchy” and challenge problematic portrayals of relationships between the sexes as embodied by the likes of Donald Trump and his abhorrent remarks made towards – and about – women, termed by the performers as glamtavism (Oxford, get around it). This is demonstrated most poignantly in a number which saw Hutson quoting Trump’s comments verbatim in a jovial manner while Falconer-Pritchard played a solemn rendition of Star-Spangled Banner on keyboard. Indeed, Falconer-Pritchard’s musical prowess was a highlight of the show as she transitioned seamlessly between instruments and occasionally appeared to masterfully improvise along with the banter of guests and her fellow Fringe Wives during an educational section entitled Lagoon of Mystery – a euphemism for female genitalia which until I started dating women I’d describe as pretty apt.
Another number which also hit home for me and made me both angry and exhilarated (because I was being represented on stage – a rare occurrence), was “Change It Up.” Chronicling examples of mistreatment of women from childhood biting in the playground to catcalling and unwanted physical advances on public transport – which from a young age we as women are told to write off as behavior indicative of males’ fondness of us, – “Change It Up” as the name suggests, was an overdue call to arms to point out this behavior and demand the respect all of who identify as women deserve.
While delivering politically-charged punches, the show was overwhelmingly a celebration of women, our bodies, and what we can achieve when we work together. It was also a chance to publicly celebrate our sexuality, complete with Hutson’s turn as a dancing, glitter-producing vagina and a song about the obvious (and sometimes unseen) joys of female masturbation entitled “Lady Boner.” Props to Falconer-Pritchard for her formative fantasies about Grace Jones too, I really can’t say anything more than “I get it.”
Overseen by performers who always made sure the audience felt comfortable and invited to party with them, the night was fun, fierce, and laugh-out-loud funny. One eager audience member was so into it she split her pants and ended up chugging champagne on stage, a reward for dance moves deemed by the performers as “outstanding”. One lucky audience member even voted to snog Tessa Waters after being heralded for possessing quality dance moves, something that was not just consensual but mutually embraced and left this Elaine Benes-esque reviewer wishing my rug-cutting abilities were as up to scratch as that particular audience members.
Touching on myth, personal experiences, and universal experiences of womanhood, Glittery Clittery is a joyous powerhouse of female energy made possible by the three comedy goddesses who brought the show together and their team of designers whose work gave the show an extra level of sophistication. Special mention must go to their costume designer whose outfits were as full of charisma as the women wearing them. Featuring cloaks, sequins, vulvas, and glitter shoots, the costumes were at times as hilarious as the performers’ routines and more importantly for the Lagoon of Mystery game-show round, were anatomically correct. While there was occasional volume problems in terms of sound these were handled well by the performers and sound-operator alike and were minor hiccups in an otherwise flawless evening of comedy. In short, I loved it.
My advice to comedy goers would be this: go and see it, join the Clitterati, and let’s take glamtavism to the streets!