Rash Dash Theatre bring their production Two Man Show straight from the Edinburgh Fringe, directly to HOME for their Orbit Festival. It is an eccentric, bold and thought-provoking performance that challenges the ideas around gender stereotyping.
Embarking to expose the issues with patriarchy, the two women and faces of Rash Dash Theatre Abbi Greenland and Helen Goalen, play two men. With the accompaniment of Becky Wilkie, who has composed the ceremonial-style music. In this 75 minute play, we are taken on a history lesson of the way patriarchy was created. They present this to us in a hilariously ironic style, as they argue that the words that exist aren’t good enough, so therefore use a mixture of song, dance and physical theatre.
With gender and feminism a key theme at this year’s Fringe festival, Rash Dash have pulled it out the bag with their contemporary performance that breaks all boundaries. Opening with the performers dressed as goddesses, they begin preaching through song and dance their issues with gender dominance and ownership.
These erratic and artistically driven moments in the piece are interjected with straightforward acting scenes as the two women play two brothers, Dan and John. They are two very contrasting men that are brought together as their father’s illness is deteriorating. The way they communicate with each other is eye-opening, as it questions the idea of vulnerability.
The piece itself covers many issues using a variety of theatrical techniques – which ultimately all clash. However they are clashing in a way that keeps the production alive, the sporadic shift in dynamics keeps the audience on their toes. They provide the audience with their important messages through both cold and warm tones.
It is all brought together in the cleverly written and excellently performed final two monologues. Greenland erupts with a raucous, brash and powerful speech about being a woman with masculine qualities. She preaches about why she shouldn’t be apologising for the way she acts because she isn’t feminine. Fighting gender stereotypes and arguing against the system, her execution of the monologue is nothing less than flawless.
Meanwhile, Goalen provides a striking contrast with her performance. She shrinks to the back of the stage, and in a whimpering voice she admits her love for the feminine qualities she has. Both monologues are engaging, compelling and address the clichés of masculine and feminine qualities.
Two Man Show is an expressive production with fierce energy. It is a piece that tackles the issues of gender head-on in this mad, but stimulating performance.
Two Man Show is on at HOME’s Orbit Festival until October 13th, tickets can be found here.
More information on the Orbit Festival can be found here.