Amid the noisy hubbub of the Garden of Unearthly Delights on a Saturday night, it’s thrilling to see a tent packed with predominantly women – and mostly young women, at that – laughing raucously and cheering on fierce and funny feminist entertainers Tessa Waters, Victoria Falconer and Rowena Hutson.
The award-winning trio (they were named best cabaret act at last year’s Adelaide Fringe) demand your full attention – even when things get a little uncomfortable, as will inevitably happen when you’re tackling topics like #metoo, misogyny and vulvas.
But cabaret-comedy show Glittery Clittery wraps its spiky feminist message in a sparkly package of fun and frivolity. This is what Fringe Wives Club calls “glamour meets activism” (#glamptivism).
Dressed head-to-toe in pink, purple and silver sequins, Waters, Falconer and Hutson discuss everything from the lack of pockets in women’s clothing, to the lack of understanding and knowledge about female genitalia.
With quirky dance moves and plenty of sass, they perform a series of original pop tunes – occasionally with the accompaniment of a violin, banjo and even a theremin – which are so upbeat and catchy that it can take a while to realise the sting in the lyrics.
One is presented, deceptively, as “a love song … to all those guys out there who just know how to make us feel so good”, while another is titled “Feminist F∗ckboi” (you can watch the video clip here).
A hilarious highlight of the night is the “Lagoon of Mystery” game show, which sees Hutson dressed as a vulva and a trio of volunteers quizzed on their knowledge of female genitalia.
A couple of the males in the audience on this particular night looked ill-at-ease at points but, as we’re told, this is a consensual party and you’re free to leave at any time.
You’d be mad if you did, though, because it’s bloody brilliant.
Fringe Wives Club: Glittery Clittery is being presented at Le Cascadeur in the Garden of Unearthly Delights until March 3. Fringe Wives Club is also presenting a second show, Glittergrass, in Gluttony from February 28 – March 2. See more Adelaide Fringe reviews and stories here.