Edinburgh Fringe 2012
Two burlesque artistes, under the guidance of their madame attempt and succeed in turning the innocent escapees of this terrible sacking of Sodom and Gomorrah into post modern feminists. What they achieve is to make a titillation out of the story that leaves us half way through before trying to re engage us with the physicality of burlesque.
It’s late at night and late at night events at the Fringe have never really served me well. I thought that it was because I had tried to avoid going to see the things that you would normally expect… well late at night. This promises sex and titillation in the telling of an ancient story. I took the plunge.
As I entered there were two writing figures in lingerie and I was instantly struck at the fact it was full and then realised of whom the audience was mainly made. This was an audience of 50 shades of Just for Men. I was in amongst them.
The storyline is that this is about Atlanta Georgia and 1 and 2, her two dancers who try and engage with the two daughters of lot. They are teaching these two daughters about post modern philosophy which involves the dressing up scantily, writhing a lot and generally being sex on legs. Atlanta Georgia drives the initial set up before is usurped when we move from the introductions and risqué poetry to the story.
The usurpation of her authority is both brutal and a requirement to move things along. We become more interested because the inevitable conclusion is sign posted before we hear the arguments. It is a predictable plot and 5 young actresses with 2 in lingerie at the start was never going to end with sack cloth and ashes was it?
Where the script falls short is this idea of post feminism. Women taking control because they can take control of their bodies and use it for liberated sex and influence. There were a group of young people just to the side of me during the show. Their giggling was to do with the ludicrous nature of some of the ideas being spouted as universal truths. Their guffawing did not stop at the final applause and they had an argument outside the venue to which I was privy for seconds and their concerns shared by me.
If women wish to make a stand that allows them to be seen as women and not as objects; being objectified won’t cut it. There are plenty of examples like fighting for peace and so on. This is just one in a long line.
What it masked was five great actresses. This material is not their equal and they performed it with the conviction needed but without the buy in from the audience we all wavered half way through. By then the philosophical was in full flow.
There was no set and to say the costumes were mighty fine would perhaps send me to a fetish club but they were.
As a piece of theatre this was lukewarmly applauded. This was perhaps due to the lack of striptease and sex for some and the lack of a clear message that was believable for the rest. The performances deserved better; a better script would be a start.