Naked, naked, nakedness (Edgy 2011)
Posted by Laura Beeston
We’re warned before the show begins: you might want to get a drink…
- – -
It starts with a mask glowing on a microphone and a single verse: “They shall see me naked.”
After a healthy swig of brandy and a whisper in an audience members’ ear, she puts on the glowing skeleton mask and grabs the gnome. She’s lost, and has lost her lover. And, taking it hard—in a sweet, sorrowful way—she takes another brandy, and tells another story. His last request? Her nudity. And unable to undress in time, he dies.
She’s not quite over it, and what follows this is a spiral, is cyclical, is repetition. “Wait! Wait! Wait!” she yells, struggling to unzip her dress, remover her bra. Madness building in the circles she runs around the stage. “I can do it,” she continues, later. “And fulfill my dead boyfriends wish to be naked for all of you.”
So begins a descent into naked, naked nakedness. She’s drunk and amusing. She’s engaging, sultry—but also sad. Sipping from other peoples’ drinks, she cracks crass jokes. She thinks someone has called her a snatch. And we laugh, at first, thinking that this performance might be a comedy…
“I’m going to show you my snatch,” she dares, looking us wildly in the eyes before running behind the black velvet curtain. “Are you ready?” she teasingly slurs, before exposing her vag behind the curtain like a peep show. The audience claps, laughs, smiles. She’s showing us her nakedness, and for a moment we think we should be enjoying it.
What happens next is triggered by Sam Cooke. Specifically “I’ve been loving you.” The music starts, and so does the realization that this isn’t actually funny, or charming, or seductive (though she is all of these things). Circling around the stage in various stages of undress and distress, figuratively pissing and shitting on the little gnome, she descends into despair. Her repetition, her cyclical craze, brings tears to eyes. And we realize she’s not naked and free and fulfilled—but exposing her wounds, her deep-seated grief. Her loss.
- – -
A powerful final performance for the Edgy Women Festival, Mia van Leeuwen & Ian Mozdzen’s Le Petit Mort is strong, provocative and touching. It’s a piece of theatre that looks you in the eye, and demands your heart. It’s likely—and deservingly—going to sell out tonight, so get your tickets early and don’t miss it. It will make you laugh, and cry, at loss and life and nakedness.
- – -
<<March 30 – April 2 at 8pm @ MainLine Theatre >>