|Duckie's Christmas Performance at the Barbican
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
So, last night Marco and I went to Duckie's Christmas Performance at the Barbican.
It was…not what we were expecting.
I thought the description made it out be a burlesque/nudie show with a little bit of camp thrown in. Instead, it was pretty much pure performance art. Some of it was very funny, but it wasn't sexually titillating. Not for either of us, anyway; I imagine it could be for some.
The décor was fantastic. Large mirrors and curtains made from strips of black rubbish bin liner enclosed the circular performance areas. Christmas lights wound inside a red foil-lined light fixture lit eight round tables, each of which sat eight people (the show was sold out) with one red velvet-cushioned chair reserved for the visiting performer. A small raised platform at the front served as the stage for the opening, middle and closing acts, of which I've included pics.
Marco and I sat at our table with two other couples, who were a little older than us and English, and a lone Japanese lady who didn't say a word except to request the "James Bond's Perverted Pussy" act off the menu. Unfortunately, it was unavailable. We ordered "Love in the Rain" instead. The performer came out in a raincoat, carrying a microphone and a Wagamama take-away box. She sang to us in Japanese while she circled the table, looking mournfully into each person's face and putting Marco briefly in a headlock. She circled the table again and handed each of us umbrellas. We took them dubiously. I started to open mine, but Marco stopped me. I'm not going to listen to him if he does that again, because she whipped open the Wagamama box and started squirting us with water from a spritz bottle.
We also ordered "Stilettos of Death" because we couldn't have "Girl on Invisible Girl: Mexican Wrestling," which was sold out. The performer teetered out to us in heels, stuck each leg onto the table in front of us and removed her shoes in turn and finally donned a pair of ballet slippers. She dumped a mess of giant rubber spiders onto the table and smashed them with the stilettos. Fans of Spaced will understand when I say that the whole thing was very "Rabbit rabbit rabbit."
The other acts we watched weren't as memorable as those two, although we managed to see the Mexican wrestling act by dint of gawping at other tables. The table to our right ordered the "Bloody Mary," which I regret not choosing now. The performer dumped the ingredients into her mouth. She took a glass of ice, stuck it under her skirt and with a lot of orgasmic ooh-ing and aah-ing, produced a Bloody Mary about thirty seconds later, which she made one of the audience members drink.
I think if we were to return to this show, I'd do a few things differently. I'd want to book a full table with friends, so we didn't get stuck feeling awkward with a bunch of strangers. I'd cross-dress. I'd smoke cigars. I have the feeling this is the sort of performance that's greatly enhanced the more you bring to it yourself. Sadly, I don't think I know enough people here who would be interested enough to be willing to put that kind of effort in.
(Click the bums to view the gallery)