“Doesn’t she look lovely?” Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit coo again and again, spitting irony. With their clownish face paint and matching school uniform outfits, they look a little ridiculous - a word that defines this show, though not in a negative way. One hour, just for women! Aren’t we lucky?
Both performer-devisers are full of energy and enthusiasm which make them addictive to watch.
In this riotous show, an array of topics are looked at and laughed at - from Kinder eggs, Barbies and tampons to graphic online trolling - amongst loud music, singing, sketches, faux radio presenting, projections and dancing. If that sounds a bit like a party, well, it sort of is. It’s fun and entertaining while still managing to maintain a strong sense of anger yet never feeling preachy. Pretty damn clever if you ask me.
The song Talk Dirty To Me is aptly responded to with detailed confessions about bodily functions, periods and sloppy shit at the top of the list. Beauty products are made fun of; it’s true - Maybelline really do sell a line of products promising to make women look like babies.
The show also has a personal element. Pictures of Louise and Rebecca as young children pop up onscreen and confessions that feel autobiographical are whispered into a microphone like secrets. These add a serious element to the show which balances it well. As much as we want to laugh at the ridiculousness of some aspects of sexual inequality, it also needs to be taken seriously. Women’s Hour represents this need in a grounded and relatable way.
Both performer-devisers are full of energy and enthusiasm which make them addictive to watch. They bounce jokes around and turn the facts we already know (along with many we don’t) on their head and inside out to make them both funny and freshly exasperating.
One of the best examples is when the two angelically sing some disturbing online abuse, including threats of rape and violence, whilst typically “cute” images of animals and babies flash on the projector above. For me, this encapsulates much of the misogyny today – the idea of women as brainless creatures who get distracted by squirrels and deserve to be treated like shit.
Yes, it is funny but it is also chilling. This is the wonderful cleverness behind the show. It is ridiculously side-splittingly funny and you’ll have a ball, but you’ll come out with a renewed determination that something has to change.