• Amy Toledano

Too Pretty To Punch presented by Edalia Day

What Is It? Too Pretty To Punch is a spoken word show packed with a unique mixture of comedy, explosive movement, live music and interactive video projection all about gender, the media and not fitting into any of the boxes.

What Is It About? Too Pretty To Punch is an exploration of performer Edalia Days' journey as a trans person who identifies as non-binary and goes into the reality of their experience of not fitting into the binary boxes of gender, with commentary on contemporary gender politics and sexuality identity in societal history and today.

How Did It Make Me Feel? The show is performed in front of a large screen where subtitles, video and animation are projected and the room does light up when Edalia Day lanky-ky bounds onto the stage, banjo in tow, full of spirit and energy to start the show.

A truly noteworthy factor about this show is the innovative use of animation, the story is driven forward through the zany, colourful and immersive world Day has created in their drawings. Day interacts with the screen multiple times throughout the show and this technique is fresh and exciting to watch, it adds something extra to the story and really submerges you into the tale Day is sharing with us. Edalia draws on their own personal experiences both positive and negative, sometimes touching on darker more painful subjects, the animation that surrounds Day in these moments reflecting that, and it is incredibly powerful and really helps the audience understand and feel the darkness that is being shared. The comedy of the play is witty and sharp with some brilliant one-liners dotted throughout, and their spoken word style and rhyme is clever and interesting, Day explores using some crafty wordplay with nothing feeling predictable or samey.

I learnt a lot with this performance, as a cisgender woman who only really knows the top layer of trans topics and issues, Day delved into specific subjects that I had ignorantly never explored myself. One skit is coined “A Guide to the 50 Genders For Dummies” with many more sketches and monologues explaining the everyday lives, thoughts and feelings of trans people. Day doesn't lecture though, they just share and create a safe space for those un-aware of certain matters and themes to realize and learn.

Intwined throughout are musical numbers. Some gentle and mellow, in which Day pairs some impressive and beautiful banjo accompaniment, and some bigger, more dramatic and theatrical. At times the songs feel slightly too much, the music moves at such a speedy pace that the audience has no time to take in the important lyrics and detail Day is sharing.

Day’s overall performance in this show is engaging and full of charm, I do encourage you to go and see this truly fabulous piece of theatre. Too Pretty to Punch absolutely deserves a bigger stage and I applaud Edalia Day and the exceptional work they are doing to educate on Queer topics through interesting, unique and extraordinary performances like this one.

Anything Else? Edalia Day is a transgender/non-binary spoken word artist, animator and theatre maker based in Norwich having two published poetry books and has won numerous poetry slams across the UK. Too Pretty To Punch is their third show and was a smash hit at Edinburgh 2019.

Ruby x

Too Pretty To Punch is playing in the Studio, VAULT Festival, until the 8th March 2020.

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