MT LAWLEY playwright Charlotte Otton’s feminist cabaret Feminah is back to wreak more vulgar hilarity on Blue Room Theatre’s new Winter Nights festival.
The show was a big hit at this year’s Fringeworld Perth where it picked up an award, and has also scored a gong for “tour ready” show from the Melbourne fringe – before she’s even played there.
Feminah: The Second Coming explores feminism from every decade from the 1800s, retelling the music from that era and what the women’s revolution had achieved at the time in a way we have not heard before.
The show is part cabaret and part comedy, drawing on universal themes through personal stories and reflections interwoven between the songs.
Otton is interested in the way women have been brought up to sculpt their bodies, and the way they talk and present themselves through etiquette and excessive apologising.
Her show emphasises how society’s in-built patriarchy still has a powerful grip over women in their lives and sense of self.
Feminah: The Second Coming also taps into the notion of vulgarity and what Otton describes as “the pursuit to be free and vulgar in my body; of what I am as a woman”.
She looks at what happens when the patriarchic rules are shed and women can express the more bestial elements of themselves.
While Otton is enthusiastic about the positive changes brought about by the women’s movement over time, she taps into experiences women might still recognise to show how persistent patriarchy has been.
She draws on her own childhood experiences for the show, saying she now looks back on that period and realises how much of her behaviour – and the expectations of others – had been formed by their patriarchal indoctrination.
Otton hails from Sydney where she studied improv for three years before moving to Perth to study performance at the WA Academy of Performing Art.
Since then she’s had somewhat of a glittering start to her career in Perth’s independent theatre scene, performing in a successful season of Rorschach Beast’s Hive Mind and selling out her 2018 solo show Let Me Finish.
Feminah: The Second Coming is at the Blue Room theatre on August 1 and 2 from 7.30pm. Tickets are $20 plus booking fee from http://www.blueroom.org.au
by ALEX MURFETT