Mercedes, or ‘Merc’ as she calls herself, has just landed a new job working at a nightclub; a nightclub with a sexist and homophobic doorman -Kai Henderson-, a highly stung and drop dead gorgeous boss -Grace Hendy- and Merc’s high-school crush and ex-lover -Bernado Santos-… what could go wrong?!
This immersive atmosphere of theatre allows for a real sense that you are involved in the story.
Merc also has another problem up her sleeve; she doesn’t know how to tell her crush that she used to be a man. This immersive drama which is both funny and moving tells the story of Merc’s experience in coming to terms with her body, her sexuality and most importantly, the respect she deserves from the people that surround her.
The opening of the performance was one of the most impressive parts of the play, which totals at around 50 minutes including a small interval. Victoria Coker who plays Merc, appears in a full tracksuit and mask, performing to a moving track as the lights come up. The routine cleverly explores the stereotypical depictions of men and women dancing in nightclubs, beginning with the more masculine, bolder dance moves and then following with a smoother, sexier ‘feminine’ dance, with the mask keeps the performer neutral. Above the performer, a large neon sign switches between ‘WOMEN’ and ‘MEN’ to signify the themes of the performance, as well as highlighting the scenes within the gendered nightclub toilets, which initially puts Merc in an awkward situation.
Amongst her personal identity battle, she is also confronted by her boss for her revealing outfit after the boys bet each other £50 to see who can sleep with her first. As the plot unfolds we realise things between Merc and her ex-lover aren’t as simple as it originally seemed and the audience is asked to follow them through the club, to the basement bar and out into the street outside. This immersive atmosphere of theatre allows for a real sense that you are involved in the story.
I would have liked there to be more development with some of the storylines, such as an understanding as to why the doorman (Kai Henderson) is so homophobic? My guess was that he was worried about his own sexuality, but I would have liked this to have been developed more. It also appeared that Merc had decided to transition to a girl due to her lover telling her he needed a woman, not a man, which was an interesting decision to create a character who changed his/her body for someone else, rather than his/herself. However, I was hugely impressed by Victoria’s both sensitive and powerful performance as a transgender woman that obviously took a lot of research and showcased her incredible talent for acting.