Hair Peace

Inspired by her participation in beauty pageants last year, Victoria Melody became fascinated by the origins of the hair that made up her glamorous hair extensions. Who are these women who donated their hair? Did they know what would happen to it when it was cut off? Did they care? These questions became the propulsion that took Melody around the world, looking for the source of her real, fake, human hair. It's factual performance art, infused with Melody's bubbly personality and the accounts of real women she met on her travels.

A very well-researched piece of performance art.

We really get to know Melody; the piece is littered with personal touches, such as her family nicknames, photos and even a sack full of her own hair. One of the women who sparks her pilgrimage is Melody's cousin, a self-confessed hair extension addict. Along her travels across India and to Russia, the main sources of human hair used in the UK, Melody has taken heart-breaking videos and photos of the factories, kiosks and temples which process this intimate, precious part of the human body, and the juxtaposition between that intimacy and the clinical nature of the settings is managed well by Melody. Dressed as a beaming, preened beautician, with frequent and visible wig changes, she is unassuming, down-to-Earth and empowered.

Occasionally, it feels like there are too many issues being addressed, so that and the focus of the piece becomes muddled; although racial judgments passing through airport security is a problem which should be discussed, it doesn't fit within the context of this piece. Melody has a very casual, unpretentious performance style, which puts us at ease, but she becomes so low in energy at times that the piece starts to drag.

This is a very well-researched piece of performance art, delivered with buckets of heart and a humour which doesn't take herself too seriously. 

Reviews by Cara Ballingall

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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

When Victoria competed in beauty pageants for a previous show a hairdresser advised she wear hair extensions. Freaked out by wearing a piece of somebody else's body she embarked on an extraordinary adventure to find whose hair this was. Victoria's boundless curiosity takes an audience on a serendipitous journey around a world in miniature. There's a baddie, a Russian fortune teller, an unbelievably expensive wedding, a Celebrity Big Brother contestant, forensic crime scene investigations and hair, lots of hair. The outcome is a true story about the search for three strangers from distant lands connected by DNA. www.victoriamelody.co.uk

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