The age old pressure and discussions have been forever on women and the expectation to have children. But this isn’t for everyone and yet, this is still taboo in the 21st century.
Stark Bollock Naked addresses the pressures of age, society, other’s commentary on women’s bodies and the expectation to reproduce. It takes a look at this, at the viability and different situations and noting that it’s okay to not want that life, even after you thought you did once.
We are firstly confronted with a naked lady in front of us. The silence ensues and it needs to be congratulated that the performance starts ensuring that audience is awkward and uncomfortable, to make sure they take on the tricky subject.
The actual silence and pausing throughout is very powerful and at times comical and let’s us digest the relationship between the audience and performers. When the action begins, a really interesting projection is created, shown on the performer’s body and with an essence of stereotypical outfits of women as she monologues her story. This felt quite 1927 and the more hyper-realistic performances they create and was a really unusual and unique theatrical trick.
The narrative is comical, stating the facts and also very bold. There are comments on this person’s story, that are comments we, as women, are told not to say or think or feel. Stark Bollock Naked is throwing these into the ether and with no apology.
For me, it felt quite mismatched with what the performance wanted to achieve. It was really intriguing, performed extremely well and with a great concept and approach, but it felt a little like they weren’t entirely sure whether it was a comedy, an emotional production, a touch of clowning or avant garde. There’s nothing wrong with combining these but jumping from one to the other didn’t seem to sit well.
Stark Bollock Naked is exactly the theatre we need, where the unspoken rules around women are unleashed. However, more work is needed to combine the genres they are trying to touch upon.