Stunned silence, amusement, embarrassment and reflection.
The Pinch performance of ‘Asking For It’ will leave you asking questions not only about the show itself but also the choices you make.
Having seen the outcome of the first big rape case in India, Isabelle was so incensed by what people were saying, and that the victim was “asking for it” that she decided to examine the idea that anyone is ever ‘asking for it’.
I spoke to the show’s producer Lina B. Frank, who explained this play has been a while in the making as they gathered the different fragments of opinion and discussion from both men and women, including input from the Bristol Women’s Voice.
“We spoke to everyday people about the different choices they make and why. It’s all about the choices we all make.”
The Show starts with ‘Gemma & Sarah’ appearing in their tight lycra ‘little black numbers’ and excessively high wedged heels announcing that “Gemma and Sarah will show you how to transform into the best version of yourselves”.
They are irrepressibly enthusiastic and bubbly, with a persuasive fun filled romp in front of the audience who are drawn into their zeal for life.
Then you are suddenly transported to a disco with flashing lights and loud music and the two black numbers start to dance in that stereo-typical flirtatious style.
But within minutes you are returned to the world of Gemma & Sarah who guide the ladies in the audience through the five stages of ‘how to attract a man’
5 Face: a flawless skin is essential and if you don’t have it, love yourself and eat better
4: Breasts: if you don’t have the best set then love yourself and have cosmetic surgery
3: Butt: he wants to have something to grab
2: Humour: a sense of humour is essential
1: Sexuality: be sexy all the time. Touch your friends to show how you’d like to be touched
Back to the disco and some very seductive dancing. It soon morphs into a rampant sex session (virtual obvs) with erotic positions to the extreme. All done with a huge amount of energy until it suddenly stops, the music continues whilst the two hold each other in an embrace.
The next scene is quite different as they not only change into less ‘sexy’ clothes but start to discuss and debate the whole idea of sexual shame and whether people use their own inherited shame to judge others
“Women can’t dress sexy because they won’t be taken seriously”
It turns into a frenzied argument and as the debate becomes more intolerant a fight breaks out.
When calm returns, Sarah talks about her mother and how ashamed she was of her stomach; looking in the mirror in disgust and how she, the daughter, continued in the same way.
The closing scene focussed on the embarrassment of talking about sexual relations and what one partner wanted but felt too awkward to say. With the help of special lighting, shadows and music, the scene was an energetic finale that when it came to an end, left the audience wondering if in fact it had finished.
Lina was keen to point out that for Pinch there is no agenda, but as the media and other channels constantly direct young women to be highly sexualised, they want people, both men and women of every generation, to make their own choices.
Which is the whole point of this show, it is a collision of opinion, judgement and choices. It’s entertaining but also thought provoking and leaves you wondering…
Pinch are touring with this show in 2016 http://www.pinchtheatre.com/