Review: Red and Boiling

3*
Edinburgh Fringe

Red and Boiling is a Drag show, a puppet/storytelling show and a verbatim show. King and Queen Hasadick and Rosay act as comperes, introducing segments for their ever-shifting show. The most common segment is a verbatim performance of an interview of a Queer Womyn or nonbinary person’s story, accompanied by shadow puppetry, with the occasional Drag lip-sync or character skit.

There was a lot happening. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, I kept finding myself incredibly invested in the interviews and puppetry, only for them to be cut off, leaving my emotional connection with the interviewee and not with the show. I thought there were a lot of powerful moments and messages in what were obviously very personal stories, but that the segues between them were jarring.

I am also always wary of a show that starts with the mocking of people who have diverse genders and triggers (however gently this is done). While I do have more patience for Queer women making this specific category of cis male jokes, my hackles were raised throughout. Given the ‘devil’s advocate’ character has a Bit about the singular they pronoun fairly early on, I did not feel comfortable throughout, waiting for another barbed comment. If you really are worried about “offending somebody” while making the show inclusive, the best way to do this is to casually do it, and be unremarkable about it.

The queer womyn in the audience did seem to enjoy a lot more of the comedy than I did, and as this is a show specifically aimed at this demographic, I did have to admit that this show wasn’t for me.

Red and Boiling mentioned at the end of their show that they have a podcast of their interviews in full form, and this really clicked with me. While this show seemed to me a little mismatched and jerking, I do think that the work they have done for it is incredibly important (especially regarding queerness and race, queerness and religion and queerness in Israel) and I am interested in listening through their full interviews.

© Nemo Martin 2018

This production has now closed, please follow @theHasadick on Twitter for updates of future shows.

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