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Review: Notorious Strumpet & Dangerous Girl

Adelaide Fringe

Jess Love describes herself as a carnie and a queer who likes a drink. Her autobiographical Fringe show, Notorious Strumpet & Dangerous Girl, takes the form of an AA meeting crossed with a circus act. ★★★★

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Love (who has performed with La Soiree and toured with Circus Oz and Circa) swings from hula hooping, to trapeze, to booze bingo with the skill of an experienced acrobat and the grace of a drunk.

She gets naked, drinks several bottles of wine, dances furiously, skips rope and collapses in tears.

In this fearless production, Love combines acrobatics, theatre and comedy to paint a picture of her demise to rock bottom.

Love is the black sheep of her family of trained teachers and missionaries. But when she reaches out to “find herself”, she traces her ancestry back to Julia Mullins: an Irish-Catholic drunk, prostitute and convict (arrested 23 times in Australia).

Through this discovery, past and present lives twist together into one story. Mullins and Love; the present Love and her younger self, discovering drugs and raiding her parents’ alcohol cupboard.

With brutal honesty, Love confesses her worst moments as she reads about her great, great, great, great-grandmother. She wins over her audience with tea and coffee on entering, and continues to deliver until the close of meeting.

This one-woman show is funny, raw and just a little moving.

Four stars

Notorious Strumpet & Dangerous Girl is showing at The Factory at The Garden of Unearthly Delights until March 1.

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