This week we took our first trip to the Blue Elephant Theatre in Camberwell. We were cordially invited by Les Femmes Ridicule to see their new piece, ‘In The Gut’.
This was a crazy and very amusing night of entertainment from RADA-trained trio: Alice Robinson, Siobhan McKiernan and Margot Courtemanche. Leading us on a voyage of discovery about childbirth, but also the painful experience of miscarriage, two chefs Judith Jerry and Marie Chantal du Pape put many questions to the audience about this life-changing issue. What are the questions surrounding becoming a parent? What are the physical and psychological issues which might prevent or assist parenthood?
This was all done in bizarre fashion through many different characters. At points the girls simply donned giant sperm helmets, physicalising the little swimmers. These vignettes all raised a different questions surrounding childbirth, making the audience question their own thoughts about having children. A beautiful pink curtain acted as the backdrop for this piece and doubled as lady-part curtains that were utilised countless times to hysterical effect.
The audience participation was very enjoyable in this piece. Indeed, we were pulled onto stage at one point to help with the difficult task of putting a diaper on Judith, as a baby. This seemed possible with the direction from Marie, however as soon as we begun, baby Judith, flew off into the audience to much laughter as we tried to complete the now impossible challenge through fits of laughter. There were, however, some parts that felt like they needed to be developed a bit more, for example, the chicken trying to deliver an egg. Whilst the comedy was there, they just needed to go further with it. Maybe this was another opportunity for audience participation.
Overall however, the comedy side of this piece was brilliant. We just felt they could have connected their gags to the issue a bit more. From an entertainment perspective though, this was top notch – ridiculous character comedy exploration from Les Femmes Ridicule. We only wish we could have stayed behind afterwards to find out what the couple with the baby thought…
Highlight of the piece – The curtains, the sperm hats and their clowning.