Tomatoes erotic? Yes, erotic, silly, surreal, constantly surprising,
You will never look at tomatoes in the same way again.
A cage full of tomatoes sits on stage and one is at first afraid they may end up being thrown at the audience. But fear not. It is the cast (two males and one female) who will indulge in a tomato fight, but that is to jump ahead. At first we are given a lecture by Tseng Zito, a commanding performance, on how to choose the best tomato: its weight, its shape, firmness etc while this is filmed by an androgynous person (Ne Chi Wai) in a hooded white plastic boiler suit. When the lecturer starts to peel the tomato, Chou Kuan-Jou in flimsy pink slip gyrates to a Billie Holliday track – the usual ‘he done me wrong’ victim theme. Her back to us, Chou hugs herself, her hands appearing around her shoulders as if being embraced. Pulling her slip over her head, there’s a shocking revelation: a tomato held between her legs. Even more shocking, when you know in Taiwan a tomato cut open symbolises the vagina, its juiciness, red like blood.
A fest of sensuality ensues where the cast revel in the smell, the taste and the soft but firm feel like a baby’s skin of a tomato as they stroke one over their whole bodies. Sexuality is portrayed, not through the male gaze, reducing women to objects or victims nor to the sado-masochism of porn, but sexuality as sensuality where not only the female is liberated but the male lecturer is ecstatic discovering a new pleasure. The androgenous character now strips off the boilersuit he has been hiding in, to own his own – possibly gay – sexuality. This is a bold, brave piece and huge fun. You will never look at tomatoes in the same way again.