It’s a new work and rough around the edges, but Claire Trolio says SLUTDROP is brilliant and illuminating.
Review: Jacinta Larcombe, SLUTDROP ·
PICA Performance Space, 5 February 2020 ·
Review by Claire Trolio ·
Coming in at just under an hour, SLUTDROP is a bite-sized peek into the world of stripping. Creator and performer Jacinta Larcombe worked at a strip club for over a year and learned a lot about themself and others. Honest, confessional and revelatory: this is their story.
SLUTDROP is part of PICA’s Fringe World program, in which four WA artists present a new work each on the theme of sharing knowledge and experience. As a newly devised work, SLUTDROP is rough around the edges, but brilliant nonetheless.
There’s a lot of getting your kit off in fringe shows, but SLUTDROP is special. Larcombe shares their experience of working in a strip club through storytelling, dance, music and multimedia, all the while illuminating misconceptions (and revealing some truths) about the way stripping is represented in popular culture and considered within society.
Like its subject matter, this production is stripped back: Larcombe is surrounded by a screen, a rack of costumes, a chair, a fan and a doll. But unlike the industry itself, this show reveals what goes on behind the facade with punchy revelations and visible costume changes on stage.
SLUTDROP is largely told through storytelling, but as you’d expect from a show about the strip club, it’s very visually driven. The use of footage from Hollywood films that feature strippers, superimposed with Larcombe’s own commentary about the reality of such work, is hilarious and illuminating.
Even when she’s stumbling over lines, Larcombe commands the stage with openness, vulnerability and humour. As well as conversational tales of the club, they deliver quotes from people they’ve (presumably) interviewed about their views on strippers. It’s familiar and fresh at the same time.
Larcombe’s honest and cheeky on-stage persona is ever-so likeable. It’s impossible not to take seriously, listen to and sympathise with someone who gives so much of themself in a performance, both physically and emotionally. Larcombe has the ability to make each audience member feel like they’re one-on-one: a rare talent that can’t be overstated.
Larcombe directly raises a lot of questions about the negotiation of power in a space that is simultaneously used for an expression of female sexuality and driven by toxic masculinity. Think you’ve heard it all before? Even where Larcombe’s monologue sounds familiar, it’s delivered in such a way that proves the conversation isn’t just worth having again, it has barely even been started.
Pictured top: Jacinta Larcombe in ‘SLUTDROP‘. Photo: Daniel James Grant