With the issue of gender equality at the forefront of many a piece of performance art, there’s a tendency to dwell on the seriousness of the topic. The women from Baby Got Back: Size Queens have not forgotten to have fun though, using their humorous brand of performance to convey that women should be allowed to take up the space they deserve.
Held in the circular Ukiyo space at Gluttony, Baby Got Back: Size Queens begins with the performers dressed in oversized cat-like heads, prowling around the stage while the audience takes their seats. It certainly set the scene for the performance that followed, a mixture of burlesque, comedy, and dance. Holding the performance together is emcee Memphis Mae, who proves to be a charismatic host and provides a great link between the different acts.
The main goal of the show is to put women to the front while having fun, and on this level it succeeds. The different acts varied in quality, with perhaps the performance with the sword and armour the best of the bunch, demonstrating a certain grace and beauty different from the mostly comic material. Special mention also goes to the sheep routine, which managed to make the idea of someone dressed in a big fluffy suit kind of sexy.
There were also a few things which I felt probably didn’t work, mainly the skit with the oversized bag and the ‘wink, wink, nudge, nudge’ humour of the ‘dicktaphone’ skit (and no, that is not a typo). Within the theme of female empowerment these parts came across as a bit juvenile and also went for too long. Memphis Mae performed both these skits, and while I didn’t think they were great, I have to commend the commitment she put into these. Mae performs with an air of being unapologetic about who she is or what she does, and this absolutely fits the theme of the show.
Baby Got Back: Size Queens is a great example of how you can centre a show around an important message but still have fun. It’s entertaining, but the main theme of female empowerment still shines through. Baby Got Back: Size Queens is one to see if you want to experience feminism in a less confronting way.
Baby Got Back: Size Queens runs until Sunday 17th of March. Buy tickets HERE.
By Tania Nicholas