Princess at Lost Theatre
A modern response to Disney’s hyper femme marketing, Princess is a high energy dance show that challenges the images forced on children.
Elements of STOMP and RuPauls Drag Race fuse into a thoroughly adult, camp affair that playfully teeters between panto and gay bar, assisted by an edgy, original soundscape that could easily belong to the Party Monster soundtrack.
With a minimalist set and no interval, the hour-long routine relies on cleverly mapped projections and some fairly aggressive lighting to add detail and interest to the plain stage.
Theatregoers are introduced to affable Jennie Dickie as “The Young Girl”, who is watching her favourite Disney princesses on TV. Things take a slight twist when she meets her toy rabbit, embodied masterfully by Morgan Scott, and they delve off down the figurative rabbit hole to explore “what being a princess really means”.
Beyond this point a lot of the plot is difficult to understand as there is no spoken word, and while spectators are treated to some great dancing, they don’t get a defined sense of character or narrative. The large and talented cast are let down by some odd costume choices and multiple roles, but manage to consistently astound their audience through their physicality.
It is possible to pick up on a few key elements: the Princess’s dress being destroyed with Another Lover blasting in the background is an interesting take on a classic Cinderella scene, and does give food for thought. But, ultimately, the feminist commentary of the show fails to develop from the lace and bare skin. We see lots of revealing outfits and sexualisation of both the men and women, but the question of why the Young Girl should or shouldn’t abdicate from her socially constructed throne is never asked. It’s a Katy Perry style of rebellion that’s palatable but homogenised.
In spite of this, the jaw dropping choreography and funky music makes this a funny, perky, entertaining whirl of an evening, and its easy to enjoy. As a new production, it’s reassuringly competent, and is obviously a labour of love for Stuart Saint, the director, producer, writer and choreographer.
With a few tweaks and better costuming, it’s easy to see Saint’s vision becoming a runaway hit that will inspire modern princesses everywhere
Photo: Aidan Orange
Princess is at Lost Theatre from 15th until 19th November 2016, for further information or to book visit here.