Show: Women Who W*nk
Production Co.: Nomadic Academy of Fools
Venue: St James’ Vaults, Bath
Starring: Joanne Tremarco
When you watch a one-woman show titled “Women Who W*nk”, you expect some controversy and some nail-bitingly intimate revelations. What you don’t expect is a fantastic, laugh-out-loud, immersive piece of improvisational theatre involving the entire audience, as well as some beautiful, warm-hearted moments woven amongst the chaotic tragic-comedy.
The performance saw our lovely “fool” Joanne Tremarco – whose amazing, rubber-faced expressions made her reminiscent of Penny Dreadful’s possessed Eva Green – converse openly with audience members, improvising most of the show’s female sexual themes from what the audience said or did. This made the show edge-of-your-seat exciting.
We bounced lightly around from Joanne as a talking clitoris to her acting-out the sexual healing power of women’s orgasms. Then we went from crystal vibrators to a full-on, horse-galloping sequence enacting the breaking of a girl’s hymen. And, lastly, the twisty-turny performance (easily) persuaded the audience out of their seats to become a moving, singing vagina. Of course.
All this was funny, but there were hidden gems of substance too. Joanne deftly navigated her improvisations round to the “scripted” sections of her show where she had, very subtle but clear, Points To Make, such as about God being more Mother Nature than omnipotent man. But, for me, the reason Joanne’s show stood out from just being playful, sexual skulduggery, was the small, heartfelt section where she acted talking to her dying mum. Joanne movingly showed us that her mum provided the motivation for this sensitive, funny performance and it was this moment that elevated Women Who W*nk from comedy to an emotionally truthful show.
***** (5 stars)
Review by Anthony Burt