Raw, strong and powerful, 'Resting B*tch Face' is an all-female circus performance, commenting sharply on the trials of modern women and swinging from the ceiling with a rebel yell.
The four performers making up 'Resting B*tch Face' demonstrate the pressures of being a woman in the modern world through a series of very physical vignettes.
Opening with all four performers on stage, the circus begins with an office scene. The women are drowning in paperwork – perhaps a metaphor for career-driven life – until one cracks it. Shrieking and ripping off her clothes, our heroine ends up backstroking through paper detritus and then, somehow, dangling topless from the ceiling in a hoola hoop.
It was brilliant. Choreographed to an acoustic, female-voiced version of Beck’s ‘Creep’, she hoisted herself up and through the hoop, twisting and falling and dangling precariously. What is especially powerful is when an audience thinks of female circus performers, they generally think of Cirque de Soleil waifs, ballet-dancer thin. In contrast, Ms Hoola Hoop has curves and cellulite and boobs. In her flesh-coloured, 'Bridget Jones' granny pants, she was funny and strong and sexy as hell.
The other vignettes had a similar tone, with strong women pushing physical and cultural limits to a killer ('90s-inspired, pro-women) soundtrack. One story had inflatable penises raining from the sky, an allegory for the dick-pics women receive when dating on tinder. Another tried to put make-up on while constrained by a bungee cord, or tried to achieve the ideal silhouette with layers upon layers of spanx. A particularly confronting short had a woman panicking as a ticking clock got louder and faster – eventually sand fell from between her legs as a tumbleweed rolled across the stage.
Some pieces could be a little more polished, or edited down, but it is all minor stuff. For example, in one performance, an exaggerated woman or drag queen lip-synchs to a slow, soft version of ‘Just a Girl’ by No Doubt. The acrobatics are epic, and again allows the audience to marvel at the physical strength of the performer. However, the slow song choice doesn’t quite work with the drama of the drag, and could be further honed.
But these small details are just nitpicking. This was a fabulous, thought-provoking and fun show, get along to see them next time they’re playing!