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The Incredible Adventures of Clown Slut, Old Red Lion Theatre

Joanna Griffin 
Directed by Lauren Bracewell 
★★★

Pros: Fun, dynamic and entertaining. Superb delivery from Joanna Griffin recounting her adventures as the Clown Slut. 

Cons: The concept of the play seems to be directed to only a certain group of people, young graduates and students. 

Our verdict: The play gives you something to think about and coats its message in hilarity. Prepare for bellyaching laughter.

Courtesy of facebook.com

What does it mean to be a feminist? Feminists address issues such as rape, social conditioning and
differences between the sexes. They appear before parliaments and are willing to die for their beliefs, as the play mentions. But what does it mean to be simply a woman of today who calls herself a feminist? Writer and actor Joanna Griffin gives an amusing and intelligent picture in The Adventures of Clown Slut.

Without a doubt she believes in the message she delivers. The play shows that to be a feminist a woman does not have to give up being pretty or sexy, or stop doing anything she enjoys, like the Clown Slut’s most favorite thing in the whole world: dancing.

Joanna creates a connection between dancing and her idea of feminism. She explains that dancing should be about being whoever you want to be, whether you enjoy the untamed dance steps of Beyonce’s All The Single Ladies or some funky Groove Armada. It’s all about moving and jiggling in any way without being singled out. Joanna correlates this idea of freedom and autonomy to her understanding of feminism. For her, being a feminist is about women being exactly who they want to be without being judged. Like dancing. As a young woman myself, I found the concept extremely interesting.

The play is composed of a series of monologues in which Joanna described her adolescence, her university years (with, of course, special emphasis on fresher’s week) and the start of her professional life. As Joanna puts it, ‘some of it is real, some of it is not, some of it is other people’s stories’, but it really doesn’t matter because the performance is truthful. Being on stage on your own in front of a live audience barely five feet away from you, for the better part of an hour and a half, must be daunting, tiring and I can only imagine what else. But Joanna truly gives it all. Her performance wasn’t dull, or monotonous. It was all fun, laughs and clothes flying everywhere to disco tunes.

I thought this feature of Joanna rummaging through clothes gave an additional layer to the play’s message: in the snug stage of the Old Red Lion theatre, she changes from the cap and baggy trousers of her adolescent years to the t-shirt that transforms her into the Clown Slut, and then to a fantastic foxy costume (by foxy I mean a full-fledged fox, retractable claws included!). By switching from graduation dresses to work outfits, from sexy to comfortable, Joanna doesn’t stop being herself, or less of a feminist.

The Incredible Adventures of Clown Slut is a hilarious account of a proud feminist’s path through life, highly enjoyable with a good touch of common sense. Well done, Joanna, on a great performance.

Please feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!

The Incredible Adventures of Clown Slut runs on the 24th June and 1st July at the Old Red Lion Theatre.
Box office: 0844 412 4307 or book online at https://tickets.angeltix.com/selectshow.asp

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