Writers and Performers:Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit
Venue: New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich
Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit are Shit Theatre. That’s not a sweeping judgement, it’s what they do. It’s the name the duo lumbered themselves with in 2010 when they first started out. Their message in the current show, Women’s Hour, is delivered with irreverence towards the establishment, the media, the beauty industry and just about everyone who objectifies women or treats them with anything less than respect,
Since our earliest days on the planet, women have been compartmentalised, sexualised and, denigrated in one form or another. Woman’s Hour seeks to shine a spotlight on the inadequacies of how society still treats females. All well and good, but one can’t help but feel that cramming so much into 60 minutes at full pelt undermines its core message. Their quickfire, anarchic delivery doesn’t allow much time for the power of what they’re saying to permeate the space. They’re incredibly slick at what they do, but are they effective?
Women’s hour is cleverly written, its quickfire delivery is polished and accomplished.Mothersole and Biscuit bring just about every feminist gun to bear and aren’t afraid of taking prisoners (or smacking an unfortunate audience member square in the face with a flying tampon). So why does it all feel so unsatisfactory at the end? Is it perhaps the full-on bombardment of visual and aural stimuli?
One particularly disturbing video sequence shows pre-teen girls being primped for one of those creepy child beauty contests to the strains of Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon. Yes, very true, but not yet and you don’t need to cover your face in a mixture of grease, wax and chemicals to be beautiful, if you choose to go down that route.
Mothersole and Biscuit clearly feel strongly about their mission, and it’s a message that deserves to be shouted from the rooftops. However, shouting it that loudly is likely to be doing it a disservice.
Reviewed on 31 May 2016 | Image: Contributed