Review: Bitch On Heat

A confronting, chameleonic representation of modern womanhood

★★★★
theatre review (adelaide) | Read in About 1 minute
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Bitch on Heat
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Published 24 Feb 2019

Self-confessed ‘psycho-siren’ Leah Shelton drags the audience kicking and screaming through the patriarchy. Lip-synching as a range of characters, Shelton is mesmerising as she challenges the social pressures felt by women. Her seamless drifting in and out of characters including men and women of a variety of ages is impressive, and the accompanying physicality shifts are tight and succinct.

For a show with no real dialogue, Shelton’s message comes across loud and clear. She is a spectacle to watch as she becomes 'perfect' women, voices of oppressors and obedient bitches. Sexuality is called into question by her costuming which generally looks uncomfortable and restrictive. Not unlike many of women’s fashions, these costumes hold Shelton in, they bind to her form and mould her into new shapes.

Bitch On Heat is a passionate provocation which is as engaging as it is enraging. In the final minutes, the tension is held impeccably as Shelton connects with every audience member directly and individually, challenging each member to rise up and join her. This visceral display of womanhood is inspiring and Shelton is incredibly commanding throughout.