Lucy McCormick may think she's the diva of her feral, budget cabaret of brazen filth but the real joy is taking part in the push and pull of being in an audience under her spell.
McCormick is a powerhouse performer
McCormick is trying to put on a full Spiegeltent cabaret extravaganza. However, as the Arts Council funding fell through, some improvisation is needed to get this show on the road. What follows is a charming hour of McCormick asking, directing, and carousing the audience into taking part to support her solo shows. We help in a variety of ways, from all rising to sing songs between the acts in a messy queer communion, or throwing confetti at the right time, or using a torch to light her as she races across the space.
You can easily forget the sheen of amateurism because McCormick is a powerhouse performer, flicking from moment to moment, from terrifying, to sobbing, to sultry, to raging at the machine. Her stage persona is gloriously inconsistent, keeping the audience on their toes. She's a star who loves the stage and she just wants to be enough for the audience as she is. She needs no one and can look out for herself, but she's actually looking for friends. Do you know how hard it is to make friends as an adult?
If you lose sight of her during the show, she’ll have cracked off two jokes before you catch sight of her again. Waving a knife, doing her best impression of psycho, trying desperately to jack-off to the items in a woman's handbag, sitting silently on a box staring at the audience, sticking edible goods into orifices, absolutely nailing an entire Adele song in order to crack a dad joke.
McCormick is a master of pace; the piece hops between a staged version of being inside an ADHD brain, a thousand thoughts and jokes all firing at once; to waiting, deliciously, ear-ringingly awkwardly waiting, waiting with the audience in the palm of her hand.
I have been gunning to see McCormick live since her performances at Fierce in Birmingham, where she gained quite the following. This show is not one people wander into by accident - the audience fully understand that they are going to see naked flesh and sex acts. In this show, it leads to less visceral shock value in the performance than you might expect. McCormick has an audience and they are extremely happy to revel and have fun with this cackling harlequin. I would have been extremely happy to have been put in a group chat with these people.