GINGZILLA: Glamonster VS The World

cabaret review (adelaide) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Published 03 Mar 2018

The towering figure of Gingzilla – a fiery-haired, bearded deity – welcomes the crowd with popcorn and lollies in a classic, bright red 1920s cinema usher costume. This gracefully sets the scene for the evening.

We're soon treated to Gingzilla's titanic voice in a medley of pop covers. This includes a soulful Chains by Tina Arena and a purring, tongue-in-cheek cover of Tom Jones' She's A Lady. Her voice is at many points delicate and feminine, before dropping to a deep, husky growl with incredible precision and control. And this vocal juxtaposition is echoed in costuming and theme.

Costuming changes are neatly masked by black and white videos playing against the backdrop showing powerful messages of womenhood in society.

The first is a hilariously upsetting advertisement for a photocopier. In a knowing throwback to a bygone era it conjures inevitable parallels with modern society and gendered roles. This idea is continued as Gingzilla learns to conform to society's ideals in order to become a 'real woman' – be seen not heard, dress for your man, eye makeup by Maybelline. Many in the audience empathise – and a yearning to break free of these expectations is what lends the show its dramatic tension.

This is a brilliant, funny and powerful piece which seeks to deconstruct what it means to be feminine or masculine, and the implications these norms carry.