Queen C*nt Sacred or Profane?

China Blue Fish and Deborah Antoinette first met at Bristol artist’s collective Co-resist where they bonded over a love of feminism, the environment and clowning (the two are both registered clowns). Queen C*nt, their irreverent and unpredictable sketch show, aims to 'unleash the power' of the C word and reclaim the female body.

From the get-go the audience is treated to the pair’s wry take on femininity.

From the get-go the audience is treated to the pair’s wry take on femininity as the two are already poised on stage before the audience even take their seats. Panting heavily and posing seductively in full snake costume, the two start to chomp furiously on bright red apples. 'Do you think they get the Bible reference?' they ask each other coyly.

As the show continues, Queen C*nt becomes most brilliant in its absurdity. A sex-obsessed Theresa May humps a (surprisingly enthusiastic) audience member. A gin slugging Virgin Mary embarks on a drunken rant about the non-consensual nature of the immaculate conception and stage manager Naomi Smith clears props from the stage dressed as a giant clitoris.

Unfortunately though, these moments of brilliance are clouded by their clumsy handling of the iconic Frida Kahlo. When Antoinette enters on stage in full Frida get-up, sporting a fake monobrow and an exaggerated Mexican accent, it feels appropriative rather than subversive. As Antoinette dives into a sweary monologue, it becomes clear that the scene’s purpose is to go into lurid detail about the artist’s sex life and not to pay homage to the communist revolutionary.

Similarly disappointing was Fish’s appearance as Burt the Drag King. A confusing character whose main comedic contribution to the show seemed to be the fake penis dangling from his tight leather trousers. For a performance that is trying to subvert traditional views of gender, I found it hard to see how a Drag King was a worthy target of mockery.

Although the show started out excellently, after two hours of genitalia-based humour, I found my attention span wearing thin as we were encouraged to sing a Hymn (or Herr) about smashing the patriarchy. While Fish and Antoinette are clearly very talented performers, Queen C*nt’s lack of self-reflection prevents it from starting a real revolution.

Reviews by Beth Watson

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Venus is about to collide with Earth! A multi-character melange of opinion paints the stage rainbow coloured, sequined, hairy and fleshy pink. Blending music, comedy, drag, movement, dance, buffon and the grotesque, Queen C*nt sees all power to the feminine, the wrathful, the sensual! In an age of Harvey Weinsteins, where passing trends compel some to surgical operation, where mainstream porn has hijacked sensuality, we delve into the wild waters of our womanhood, reclaiming the body in a joyful, dark and often anarchic exploration.

Why is it that the oldest term for the female genitalia in the English language is such a shocking and criminal expression? – Expect darkly comic, expect personal perspective, expect not turning a blind eye to gender based violence and expect a joyful reclaiming of the feminine, whilst unashamedly shedding light on the patriarchal systems that keep us all bound. With absurd sketches from characters ranging from Virgin Mary, to Theresa May, from Burt the drag king, to Frida Kahlo, this is a quest of two comedic female performers to tell it how it has never been told before! What is left that really is sacred and feminine, and what exactly is profane? F*ck capitalism, f*ck abusing mother nature, lets all get together and make sweet love!

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