Lucy McCormick: Triple Threat

Triple Threat is a gloriously transgressive flurry of punky, feminist mayhem. An exercise in deliberate bad-taste, yet a strangely cleansing experience. The conceit of the show: performance artist McCormick, lamenting that there aren’t enough strong roles for women in the New Testament, pulls together a three-act morality compilation of biblical highlights with herself forcefully at the centre. It features generous quantities of Nutella and mayonnaise, elaborate dance routines and aggressive versions of ballads from sources like Lady Gaga to Justin Bieber, and two scantily clad, buff male models (the ‘Girl Squad’), and it’s every bit as joyfully depraved as it sounds.

The hour whizzes by, but sticks in the mind long afterwards.

The show doesn’t take itself seriously in any way, and is peppered with absurdist humour, including one groan-worthy pun on the word ‘meringues’. McCormick’s onstage persona is that of an arrogant narcissist: she even writes in another lamentation scene for Mary as a vehicle for a rousing audience sing-along. However, there is too much substance here to simply dismiss it as frothy pastiche. Given the tiresome taboos and fetishisation of female nudity (of which there is no shortage in this show), the laughter itself has a triumphantly transgressive quality. Much has also been made of Mccormick's commentary on the religious abuse of female bodies and her unapologetic boldness is a triumphant act of reclamation.

There are well thought through strands of connections with medieval mystery theatre, where there was an emphasis on religion becoming tangibly fleshy, giving this hyper-modern show a kind of primal element, tapping into the wellspring of an ancient tradition with punktastic flair.

Certainly, it’s not for the faint of heart. One section, which re-enacts the story of Thomas probing Jesus’s body (you can see where that’s going) is as viscerally graphic as anything you’ll ever see on the Fringe. Yet credit must go to McCormick and her director (fellow performance artist Ursula Martinez) for constructing a show with this kind of gloriously trashy style. The hour whizzes by, but sticks in the mind long afterwards.

Reviews by Joe Spence

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★★★★
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Lucy McCormick: Triple Threat

★★★★
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The Blurb

Post-popular prodigy Lucy McCormick and her Girl Squad present a trash-step dub-punk morality play for the modern world. Casting herself in every main role, Lucy attempts to reconnect to her moral conscience by re-enacting biblical stories via a nu-wave holy trinity of dance, power ballads and absurdist art. With direction from Ursula Martinez. 'A phenomenally watchable performer… anything is a possibility’ (Matt Truman). 'Hilarious, shocking and profound' (ExeuntMagazine.com). Commissioned by hÅb and Contact for Works Ahead, with funding from Arts Council England. BSL interpreted performances on 14th and 20th August.

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