Vulvarine: A New Musical
Fat Rascal Theatre’s Vulvarine: A New Musical is bonkers in the best way, crazily creative, and proof that female superheroes can be just as heroic and entertaining as their male counterparts.
Bryony Buckle (Allie Munro) is an ordinary office worker in High Wycombe, who goes home at the end of the day to her cat Elton, and is secretly in love with Orson Bloom (Jamie Mawson) from IT. News bulletins from correspondents Steven (Steffan Rizzi) and Gina (Katie Wells) set the scene in this English town where apparently “nothing ever happens”, followed by a weather report of a storm. The cast emerge and disappear behind a cityscape cardboard cut-out, using it as a space to quickly change outfits between scenes. Bryony receives confidential information regarding tampon tax that is going to a mysterious account, and it is here where the adventure lies. Female colleagues are going missing one by one, along with other townswomen who are also slowly disappearing. Feeling unwell, Bryony visits Dr Proctor (Wells) a misogynist with old-fashioned views, who prescribes her a hormone drug, wrongly (not to mention senselessly) assuming that the cough is related to her uterus.
Following this, Bryony is struck with lightning, making the hormone therapy go awry and ultimately turning the office worker into Vulvarine, “saviour of womankind”. A clever scene demonstrating her new powers shows Bryony wearing her glasses with the stage lights dimming, the lights turning brighter when she takes them off, while her physical strength is revealed when she lifts friends and colleagues (this is achieved with the help of the other cast members). Jed Berry’s choreography brilliantly uses space while artistic director Robyn Grant and Daniel Elliott’s lyrics highlight the problematic issues women put up with on an average day. Alongside this, Vulvarine fixes problems in society such as manspreading on public transport, relationship problems and street harassment.
Grant also stars as Debbie, Bryony’s perpetually hungry colleague, and evidently gay mad scientist Keith Herlit the “mansplainer” – the surname an anagram of Hitler. Vulvarine defeats him with the help of Keith’s wife, marine biologist Sonia (a brilliantly comical role played by Rizzi), proving women are just as capable as men at fighting the baddies. It is remarkable the production is comprised of only five cast members, as the show packs in a lot with a punch, the entire ensemble giving it their all. In the current climate of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, Vulvarine is the superhero the world needs.
Photo: Fat Rascal Theatre
Vulvarine: A New Musical is at the Crescent from 13th until 17th March 2019. For further information or to book visit the show’s festival page here.
Read more reviews from our Vault Festival 2019 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Vault Festival website here.
Watch the trailer for Vulvarine: A New Musical here: