What the Feminist?!
Reviewed – 15th April 2018
“palatable, crowd pleasing stuff performed with sass and verve”
In the last five years, with the help of social media the tides have turned us into a ‘fourth-wave’ of feminism, resulting in a word that was often associated with radicals and regularly used with derision, gaining in popularity in the mainstream. Collectives and sites like Laura Bates’ Everyday Sexism Project helped change the course by exposing the subtle and not-so-subtle experiences exemplifying the inequality that still pervades society today. Being a card-carrying feminist is now so popular that we have Beyoncé quoting Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in her songs and Dior sending t-shirts down the catwalk with the same refrain: ‘We Should All be Feminists’.
This is the message at the core of Bits ‘n’ Bobs Theatre Company’s original production ‘WTF: What the Feminist?!’. It takes a tongue in cheek look at the kinds of sexism we all experience, using satire to point out the hilarity of the everyday and further suggesting that feminism, far from being considered a social disease, is a badge to wear with pride.
The multi-talented cast of eight sing, dance, rap, play instruments and make the audience laugh in quick succession. Although coming in at just under an hour, the piece packs in an inordinate amount requiring impressive stamina.
The sketches are frank, with no holds barred songs about getting your first period, the rules for dating (starting with not drugging your prospective partners’ drink) and a rap battle between a ‘boss lady’ and stay at home mum.
Not constrained to how sexism affects women, there’s also sketches exploring society’s expectations of masculinity. Recurring character Calumn the vlogger, who can be found at his own, very witty, domain will tell you all about the thing he loves most, and also reveal a great way to deal with hate online.
The all original music’s clear influences make them stick in your head long after they’re over. The opening number has echoes of Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ as we’re defiantly told ‘what does it matter what I’ve got in my pants? …No one can choose what I do’.
There’s nothing radical or boundary pushing about the themes presented here, intersectionalism gets a brief one-line mention, but it’s palatable, crowd pleasing stuff performed with sass and verve that have earned the cast at least two sell-out nights and a standing ovation.
The Bits ‘n’ Bobs Theatre Company (of performers Calum Connelly-Smith, Sophie Holmes, Frankie Lamb, Lucy Pollock, Grace Tarr, Jazz Thomas, Tia Thornhill and Olivia Walker) hope to take this show on the road to Edinburgh this year so if you’re planning a trip to the fringe and looking for a lighthearted, comedy-musical to fill an hour give these guys a go.
Reviewed by Amber Woodward
What the Feminist?!
Katzpace until 18th April