One-Woman Show review: Liz Kingsman skewers ‘messy woman’ with delicious disorientation defiance

A few years ago, the theater was enamored with the “messy woman”. From mainstream venues to fringe festivals, female playwrights want to set aside stereotypes and tell their own story about the complexities of life for young, modern women. . As a spectator, I have watched many excellent programs following this formula (usually in Soho . Theater no). But Liz Kingsman‘S One woman show, which is currently in its second sold-out at the venue, proves that nothing is too good to be parodied. The genre may have built on getting rid of outdated jokes, but it built a whole new language of its own. Women don’t have to be perfect anymore, we say – they can be “rude, arrogant… even abusive”.

Kingsman’s show is a wonderful, confusing, and exhilarating way. A woman’s show in One woman show titled “Wildfowl,” revolves around a woman in her 20s who works for a bird conservation charity. Our unnamed heroes (mysterious women rarely have names) are quirky and self-proclaimed “non-threateningly sexy”. She’s prone to rolling her eyes, making sexually inappropriate comments, and churning out monologues dense with metaphors (usually verbal) about the perils of modern dating and mind-boggling ideas. that the reality of social media can be bad.

Over an hour, the character short films were mimicked and deselected, along with clips of a broader genre. The supporting characters (all voiced by Kingsman) are broad stereotypes that serve only to her central story, from the Australian boss talking to or asking her questions about her problems. to the best mate in the north who is constantly lighting a cigarette. Light and acoustic cues also play with and warp these stereotypes, with flashing lights and blackouts being used to demonstrate both sexual stimulation and nightclub lounging. . After all, as our hero pointed out, “There’s no point in bottoming out unless you do it appropriately.”

If One woman show is a frank imitation, it wouldn’t be too weird. It’s the odd details in Kingsman’s writing and performance that elevate the production and make it unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The flirtatious touching of the face and the stroking of her hair had become extremely grotesque, Kingsman pulled her mouth into gargoyle-like expressions. On her way to work, it was recorded that she punched a charity worker in the face. “I’m sorry, but we don’t need to be more likable,” she said, with the #Girlboss brand defiant.

In Kingsman’s scenario, the gag rate is truly astounding. The jokes came so dense and fast that the audience often still clutched their ribs from the last line before being beaten by others and others. It’s the comedy equivalent of you just regaining your balance after being knocked over by a wave, and then being immediately pulled down again. The meta elements in the scenario have a similar effect – even if we’ve been told that what we’re seeing is real, it’s still hard to know what we can trust. This combination makes for a delightfully disorienting experience where you never know what will happen next.

But among all the amusing things, Kingsman makes poignant arguments about the nature of the theatrical genre. She clearly has a complicated relationship with it, and breaks the fourth wall at many points to ridicule herself for mocking it – though that sincerity never lasts long before it is mutilated. However, the attractions are still raised. Yes, it’s good that women no longer have to be one-way wives and girlfriends, but does this mess reinforce outdated gender stereotypes? And are the women on these shows, who are typically white, middle-class and successful, a good fit for the characters they’re playing? The saying, “You’re not a mess, you just want to be seen as one” still rings in my ears – one of many moments in my life. One woman show I can’t run.

‘One Woman Show’ to take place at Soho Theater until January 15

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/reviews/liz-kingsman-one-woman-show-review-b1988705.html One-Woman Show review: Liz Kingsman skewers ‘messy woman’ with delicious disorientation defiance

Tom Vazquez

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