Burlesque By Force

Brodie John has a story to tell and it’s a raw tale of sexual assault, consent and how to move on. John presents himself onstage as a burlesque performer exiting the stage to rapturous applause before telling his tale directly to the audience interspersed with pre-recorded spoken word and some lovely bon mots that bring chuckles that perfectly break up the prose.

There’s a spectacular piece of testimonial theatre hidden in there somewhere

It’s an all-too common tale of an abuse of trust leading to physical assault and John is open about the experience from the start but Burlesque By Force doesn’t have the impact that one would expect from such a personal tale. Although John is open, vulnerable and raw, we never truly experience the pain he’s battling and the piece feels a little too safe in its execution.

When statistically, there must be others in the audience with similar experiences, there’s an anticipation that this show might be a primal scream from a clearly talented performer but there’s a sense of disconnect from the subject matter. The piece sits too comfortably in its own safe space when it should be addressing John’s inner strife and challenging the audience. There are so many moments when the monologue moves into a dark place before veering back to safer banter and flirtation.

There’s a spectacular piece of testimonial theatre hidden in there somewhere and this show will stay with you for a while, whether the subject matter affects you personally or not. John is an actor with great potential and I’ll be fascinated to see how this work develops.

Reviews by Frodo Allan

PBH's Free Fringe @ CC Blooms

Edward Hilsum: Silver

★★★★
PQA Venues @Riddle's Court

Westdal and Hayward Need Work

★★★★
Laughing Horse @ Cabaret Voltaire

MARVELus: Improv the MARVEL-verse

★★★★
Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows

Rouge

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose

Bubble Show: Milkshake and the Winter Bubble

★★★★
Just The Tonic at the Caves

Twonkey’s Ten Year Twitch

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Part true story, part metaphor, part poetry. You are invited to a raw reflection of personal and political twisting with themes of consent and sexuality. After a phenomenal premiere in the Adelaide Feast Festival, Burlesque by Force returns with a little more flesh for Fringe.

Most Popular See More

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £20.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Les Miserables

From £22.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets