Studio at The Vaults, Leake Street Tunnels, Waterloo.
3-8 Mar, 6pm.
Written, performed and animated by Edalia Day. Co-composer Billie Bottle, artists B Mure and Jack Kelly, set design Fleur Calder.
“An hilarious and uplifting journey … reminds all of us of the power of celebrating our existence”.
Stopping off in London as part of a wider tour, Edalia Day brings their thought-provoking show of musical, physical and conversational comedy to The Vaults to explore what it means to be trans in today’s world.
In a fast-paced piece full of audiovisual wizardry (at one point Day is on screen as part of one of those fashion showcase pieces while trolls tell them how grotesque they are, and becomes animated in a variety of cartoonish poses as they are deemed “too tall”, “too wide”, etc), we learn about fear, identity, prejudice – even from fellow trans who see gender as on a binary – and the perils of growing up trans.
Fitting in boxes is not one (or two) sizes fits all. As a non-binary performer, Day argues that the wide terminology now used to self-identify is simply “finding new words for what was already there” and asserts when they are told “accept what God made you” that “She made me transgender!”.
Too Pretty to Punch is never anything but interesting. Day sings, accompanied by their bango, dances, and clowns about, long-limbed and barefoot. In repeated stretches about intolerance and bullying, they react to Twitter abuse and newspaper hysteria, and recount first steps wearing make-up (“guyliner, manscara”) while trying to figure out who they are.
“If I am, then it has nothing to do with you”, is a refrain in an early song. “I’m 35, and I survived!” comes at the end of statistics showing how many trans people are murdered or take their own lives by the age of thirty. A sobering statistic.
An accomplished, clever and likeable performer, Day comes across as confident, challenging and just a little bit vulnerable. Their show cracks open myths around trans space and identity in a warm and inclusive way, while firmly asserting “this is me”.
Judgement: Wow, Meow, or Furred Brow?
It’s a top-range Wow for Too Pretty to Punch, which should be required viewing for those who display a lack of understanding of trans identity, as well as LGBTQ+ allies. I’d highly recommended you try to catch it here or on tour (in a 90 minute version).
Images courtesy Edalia Day.
LouReviews received a complimentary ticket to see Too Pretty to Punch.