Simone Springer brings a show to FRINGE WORLD that, given the subject matter, could be a smart, body positive reclamation.
Instead we got a puerile, clumsy and unstructured hour of inconsistent material. There were some good moments, but too often the jokes fell back to ‘vaginas are icky’ gags for it to be anything but an uncomfortable experience for all involved.
There was some great stand-up comedy material, and Springer’s crowd work was a strength. Technical issues on opening night actually served to bring those audience engagement skills to the fore, but once the challenges with the on-stage live streaming camera were overcome, the segments reliant on the tech fell flat.
There were some truly good moments, but they were few and far between. Many of the jokes were reaches, forcing a humorous connection that time and again failed to land on an audience that grew increasingly despondent as the night wore on.
Silence of the Labia presented like a show that couldn't seem to decide whether it was a celebration of female reproductive organs, or a childish giggle at their expense. Our host's trepidation - feigned or genuine, it was hard to tell - when near her assistant's genitals served to confuse any positive messaging that may have been attempted. There were also a few off-theme concepts shoehorned into the performance, leaving more questions than chuckles.
The closing segment of the show even skirted the line of subscribing to damaging gender and body norms. Fortunately, by that time the end was tantalisingly close.
The premise of the show is sound, and befitting a strongly feminist comedic performance that celebrates without placing anything on a pedestal. It’s a theme that is appropriately fecund, and one that could go on to deliver a wonderful show of thoughtful merriment. Regrettably, it did not.
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