HERSTORY by Polly Clamorous
Herstory; a term for history written that focuses on the female’s point of view or emphasizes the female’s role. The idea of Herstory is to give a voice to the women in history whose stories remained obscure. Thus, ‘Herstory’ is the perfect title for new Polly Clamorous Cabaret performance. This specific show, which took place at Rada Fest was supported by RADA Fest, was British Sign Language (BSL) interpreted. I would describe ‘Herstory’ as lively, bold and cheeky. The four performers gave a large amount of gusto to the show. Every song was performed with both spirit and sass.
Jamie Bell, Stefanie Bruckner, Aurora Richardson and Isabelle Woodley perfectly assemble to tell the story of histories forgotten women with a mixture of sarcasm, musical instruments, props and singing. Using a ukulele, keyboard and guitar gave the witty songs a light quality despite some of their topic matters. After a short introduction describing the character, they launched into clever musical numbers with each member singing at least one song.
One of the most poignant and hilarious songs was that of Freddie & Truus Oversteegan. The light, foot tapping song was a stark contrast to the story of the two sisters who rode around on bicycles as teenagers killing Nazi’s in the WWII period. Polly Clamorous also told sang of some myths, like that of Adam’s first wife Lillith, before Eve, who preferred to be on top in sex and ran away after not conforming to the subservient nature expected of her. Adam then remarried Eve. They poke fun at the demonic symbolism attached to Lilith for having a voice and a preference about her own body. Some of the other songs include historical woman such as Mary Anning, Boudica, Damaris Page, Countess Elizabeth Bathory, Empress Sissi and Nellie Bly. Not all the songs make a point, some are filled with great stories and are for good old fun with a catchy tune and great harmonies. At the beginning on the performance, the audience were met with a sheet on their seats entitled ‘Which woman from HERstory are you?’. Then came brief descriptions of the women the cast were singing about in ‘Herstory’. It was a fun idea for the audience, pick out who you are before learning more about them in the song.
If you are interested in cabaret, or just a light, interesting show, I would highly recommend ‘Herstory’. It is highly entertaining and good fun.
An Edinburgh Fringe preview of ‘Herstory’ is being performed on the 26thof July at the Camden People’s Theatre. Tickets are available at: https://www.cptheatre.co.uk/show-tickets/?showid=EdFringe1907&id=12169
Alternatively, ‘Herstory’ will be at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival from August 12th– 17that The Space at The Surgeon’s Hall at 22:15, tickets available here: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/herstory
Reviewed by Ciara Kelleher
Ciara is an Irish actress, writer and presenter. She completed a BA in International Business in Ireland before moving to London to pursue acting. She has previously published an article with Concern and lived in Luxembourg and South Carolina. She completed the Advanced Intensive Acting Diploma at the Giles Foreman Centre for Acting and has taken on roles such as Queen Margaret, Hazel in ‘Mourning Becomes Electra’ and Cassandra in ‘Women of Troy’ and has written for Radio HaHa!