With a different theme for every show this Cabaret Fringe Festival, Ma’am Slam kicked off the debut show of the season with the topic ‘Choices’.
Beginning by playing games with the audience, reminiscent of drinking games, or slumber party games, ‘Would You Rather’ was the first one. For example, ‘Would you rather a robot head with a human body or a human body with a robot head. Would you rather be a Jew in Nazi Germany or in one of the Saw film’s puzzles?’, followed by ‘F*ck, Marry, Kill’ among others.
I am a feminist and I love pushing the boundaries of gender norms to open up a dialogue for thought provoking conversation on the topic, being a bit controversial and giving some insight into the female experience in an honest and humorous way. I was hoping Nona Mona, Luna Godfrey and special guest Tracey from Ma’am Slam would give me a fix of this on their opening night, and I think they can in future shows, if they push the boundaries a bit harder.
In between games, the performers each told stories from their lives, stories in which they had to make serious choices. The stories were interesting and quite well told, albeit a little rushed.
Ma’am Slam had the atmosphere of a girls’ night in, with the intention to inspire and empower. From pubic hair to poo to pus, there was no topic off limits on that stage.
It was a setting where you could enjoy party games and talk freely and exchange stories and experiences, however the performers only went to the audience for answers to the games, rather than an exchange of stories or an open floor dialogue, which I think would have been really engaging and effective.
The concept of Ma’am Slam is an excellent one, and through trial and error, this show will become something excellent. I applaud the troupe for their efforts, honesty and courage in putting on an original, gutsy show like this one. I would love to see more interaction with the audience in future iterations of the production, rather than parlour games. Many women have some excellent stories to tell and opening up a dialogue with a captive audience with the intention of challenging gender norms and pre-conceived notions and perceptions around gender would have really added to the evening.
Reviewed by Daisy Sumersford
8, 15, & 22 June at 7pm
La Boheme, 36 Grote St, Adelaide
TICKETS: Adults $20.