Lockdown reviews: 2 Clowns 1 Cup

Ugly Bucket Theatre have made this show – a satire on sex and sisterhood – available online over the Easter weekend: obviously it cannot replicate the experience of being in the room, but I thought I would take a look.

Filmed at The Arts Centre, Edgehill, Ormskirk, 2 Clowns 1 Cup features the duo of Grace Gallagher (who also directs) and Crystal Quinney Barella in a performance which brings physicality and puppets together with music and memories of growing and learning about sex.

Anyone who can remember their own pitiful lack of “sex ed” will find a wry amusement in the moments where the 2 Clowns, playing childish games and conversing in gibberish, giggle through the awkward explanations at school.

It’s girly stuff which must never be discussed again – and it takes us on to the shock of first menstruation, teenage fumbles, goggling at porn, the Tampon tax, and an amusingly off-centre discussion of female ejaculation.

The voiceovers we hear are verbatim from conversations and interviews collated by the company; the movement is cleverly contrived and wincingly real. The puppet interlude is a fringe Avenue Q moment while the tone throughout is manic and madcap, deflecting and distracting.

Shot with just one camera set-up, 2 Clowns 1 Cup suffers a bit from not being able to see the facial expressions, intensity and team interplay of Gallagher and Barella at close quarters, and the sound of audience laughter sometimes drowns out moments you’d catch if you were watching in a live setting, caught up in the moment.

However, this is a funny show with an important message which women of all ages should be able to relate to: how puberty changes us, how our own curiosities shape up, how periods mess up our lives “every month, for about a week, for forty years”, and (briefly) how our need for sexual freedoms may place us in danger.

It pushes the right buttons and is ultimately a very intriguing watch.

This fifty minute piece is available on YouTube until 12 April.