Tall Women in Clogs

A surprisingly funny show made up of a series of bizarre vignettes including film, speeches, dance (there is some dancing in clogs, but nowhere near as you expect from the title), singing and shortbread all strung together into an amusing performance illustrating life as a modern woman – particularly a tall woman.

A show with its heart in the right place containing sharp questions about women’s roles in society – but no easy answers.

The troupe juxtapose styles, in an almost Python-esque “And now for something completely different’ way, and with utter confidence, brazenly staring down the audience into giggles. Some of the sketches pack a serious punch. A wonderful rant against Joan Didion and the hordes of stick thin, angular, sunglasses and black wearing, cigarette smoking, paperback novel reading, alternative women that aim to emulate her, and her hatred of soft things. The rock-n-roll dance with the girls who didn’t give a fuck what you thought of them was just a great time all round and worked well as a counterbalance between the duet in clogs – with two of the girls just fooling around in silly shoes to silly music. I’m also severely tempted to start an homage series of ‘our lady of the men’s room’ selfies in response to the sketch containing a year of selfies, presented lecture style to the audience.

Not only are the skits funny, but also asking some sharp questions about what it is like to be a woman, in today’s society. A series of formations that are repeated throughout the show, turn out to be answers to questions such as, height order, leg length, levels of education, etc. Two stories of love are portrayed by a sweet-as-apple-pie woman who sings a song of unrequited love, complete with entertaining jabs about what a visit B&Q will teach you about Scottish masculinity. Another is a tale of moving to Mali and love across languages and cultures.

However, not all of the scenes work well. The show is slow to start, the audience unsure if they are allowed to laugh or not. The first few videos are lip-syncs by one of the cast, and are not very funny at all, but slow the pace right down. It’s not really until the Selfie series that we twig that we are allowed to laugh at this. The audience interaction is clumsy and awkward when members of the audience are pulled up to dance onstage whilst the rest are meant to join in with a karaoke – neither of which were the audience prepared for in the slightest. The finale also falls flat, particularly with the very weird projection, that isn’t quite weird enough to laugh out loud at, and just leaves you slightly confused.

Generally this is a show with its heart in the right place containing sharp questions about women’s roles in society – but no easy answers. It will make you laugh, and occasionally make you slightly confused.

Reviews by M Johnson

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Tall women standing. Tall women speaking. Tall women eating. Tall women dancing. Tall women in love. Tall women in heels. Tall women in clogs. Fresh from a sold-out New York run, four Brooklyn broads tackle gender politics and awkward footwear from their collective height of 29 feet and 1/4 inches. Making heartfelt and hilarious use of dance, text, music, video, and the occasional well-placed kick line, they ask: how can we be women in heels and girls who refuse them? Is the answer, really, clogs?