EDINBURGH 2014 - BWW Reviews: TRAVESTI, Pleasance Dome, August 16 2014
Travesti is performed by an all-male cast who are scripted using words from women. They open singing Lady Gaga's Do What You Want (With My Body) and immediately it looks even more ridiculous than the original. They begin with quotes from women about what they like about being female, things like "you get free drinks and help lifting heavy things".
They discuss the representation of women in media and why people seem to think it is unacceptable not to shave body hair. Telling real life stories, this is a really fascinating piece and made all the more interesting by the male cast. They talk about reading magazines and feeling like they are all geared towards physical improvement and what kind of look is considered socially acceptable.
Things get a little heavier as they move on to sexual harassment and being assaulted in public. The acceptance that being groped in a club is just "something that happens" prompts a sharp intake of breath from the audience. It gets darker still and almost a little uncomfortable further on.
One thing that I felt was it wasn't necessarily a wide range of women represented. As far as I could tell everybody was heterosexual and of a limited age group (I'd estimate 20-30) and race was never mentioned. Overall I thought it was a really interesting concept and the show is really funny in places but not mocking or patronising.
Travesti runs at the Pleasance Dome until August 25th.