Laura-Doe's Vaudeville Of The Vulva featuring the Vulva Underground
What is it?
A one woman cabaret style educational-comedy that uncovers and attempts to break the stigma around female genitalia.
What's it all about?
In this character comedy of sorts, professional somatic sexologist Laura-Doe takes to the stage to educated and entertain, in regard to all things vulva.
Opening with Doe as a cleaning lady, she introduces us to the space and encourages the audience to get involved in bringing the Goddess of the Vulva, Boabo to the space.
Once the space is filled with feminine spirit we are introduced to an Oxford Professor who begins to brief us on the workings of the vulva. Using the word and having the audience repeat it many times, we are introduced to many characters, including a tantric sex guru and a sexually experienced nun.
We also meet three vulva puppets who are used as tools to explore the various types of vaginas in the world and to examine the misunderstanding of the female genitalia.
There is quite a lot of singing, and a few moments of strange audience interaction, and the show ends on a sensual note that leaves us with a bit more knowledge of a body part often forced into the shadows.
How did it make me feel?
Initially the idea of this show was super exciting for me. Anything that shines a light on the feminine experience is definitely my jam. And in theory this show should have been a total win. Unfortunately, the theatrics of the show and execution of the performance does not quite meet the mark on what it could potentially be.
Laura-Doe's performance is mammoth, and she does a good job of holding the space for over an hour, however the various characters she plays tends to come across as eggy and two dimensional, with no real intel into what they are there for. It often feels as if some of the characters can be rolled into one or two.
The information relayed to the audience is interesting, but the use of songs is over done and become a little tired as the audience is asked to join in with every scene. They are all unnecessarily long too and Doe's confidence on stage feels shaky and disconnected from her body. This in particular is an issue for a show that is about body confidence and understanding. Sadly it does not feel that Doe has any of the material in her body at all.
I do think the early time slot (7:15pm) does let it down too, with the audience perhaps not being quite warm enough yet for this sexually charged show this early in the evening.
Where Is It Playing?
The Bread and Roses in Clapham, usually a great cabaret space, felt almost a little big for this show that needs total intimacy.
The idea itself is a good one, however with a few cues being missed, and lots of costume changes, it does feel as if Doe could use another actor with her to lighten the load and bring up the energy to really give this show the oomph it needs to make its proper impact.
Laura-Doe's Vaudeville Of The Vulva runs at The Bread and Roses Theatre Clapham until the 8th June 2019.
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