OUT

We are presented with two bodies: a loud Jamaican dance hall music and disco lights. As we enter The Marlborough we are not seated in the usual position. Instead we are on the stage and the performers are on the floor. OUT strives to tackle homophobia and transphobia within Caribbean communities, and does so beautifully.

The second half of the show takes an unexpected turn. Both performers put on fedoras and sit centre stage with a bucket of oranges

Rachel Young, and her co-performer Dwayne Antony, move about the stage with ease, both clothed in black pants, a netted body, red trainers and stickers to cover their nipples, instantly dispelling any pre-conceived ideas that women’s nipples should be hidden, and men's free. The differences between genders disappear - these are just two people.

Gender roles continue to be flipped on their head, as both performers strip to just their pants and don a pair of heels. They take us to church, commenting on the homophobic sermons so common in Jamaican culture. Their synchronised, repetitive movements to the words ‘Hallelujah’, vogueing included, was mesmeric to watch.

The second half of the show takes an unexpected turn. Both performers put on fedoras and sit centre stage with a bucket of oranges, eating each one in a sexualised, grotesque manner, before peeling the rest. It reminded me of two men, sitting on their porch in the sun. The peeling of the oranges goes on for a long time - audience members began to get restless - but I enjoyed it. It allowed us time to think about our own lives, our own queerness and our own cultures.

The audience is released from this when Rachel and Dwayne get up and share the peeled fruit with us, perhaps a symbolic gesture that they have shared their experiences with us and are inviting us to share ours with them.

This felt like a very important show to see, and one I’m glad I did. At times, I think I missed some cultural references which would have made it an even richer experience for me, and often I was searching for a narrative arc and left wanting. As we left the theatre, some were bemused, some were glowing.

Reviews by Rosie Blackwell-Sutton

Sweet Waterfront 1

Wacht!

★★★★
The Warren: Main House

Terror Australis

★★★
Marlborough Theatre

OUT

★★★★
The Warren: Main House

Great Train Robbery

★★★★
Sweet Waterfront 1

BLINDFOLD: The Night of the Hunt

★★★
The Warren: Studio 2

Oyster Boy

★★★★

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

OUT is about shape shifting; to be black enough, straight enough, Jamaican enough... Challenging homophobia and transphobia within Caribbean communities, OUT is a conversation between two bodies, reclaiming dance-hall and celebrating queerness amongst the bittersweet scent of oranges. A defiant act of self-expression that smashes through the silence, summoning voices and re-enacting movements in a chaotic mash-up of remembrance and reinvention. OUT is kindly supported by The Marlborough, The Yard, IBT, Arts Council England, Curve Leicester, South East Dance and Greenwich University.

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