by Laura Ferguson
The performance begins with Lisa requesting the house lights be brought up since interaction with the audience is preferred. Pappa Skye is fully aware of how interesting they come across, rejecting normal and embracing the weird. Skye’s comedy reflects this notion, too. Bouncing from one story to another, the segues acknowledged as jarring about-turns, Lisa-Skye blasts through topics. Rejecting normal: done. Disregarding societal pressure to have a gender binary system: done. Undoing the cis-gendered, heteronormative, escalator-theory relationship model: done. Being polyamorous and queer, Lisa-Skye’s stance in life does away with every expectation I’ve ever had put upon me growing up. Seeing someone succeed unapologetically for having a different world view was incredibly liberating.
My favourite part of Lisa-Skye’s performance are the facial contortions. Even sitting in the back row, I can clearly distinguish all the expressions she made. The drag makeup, of course, helps, but it is so funny, this over-emphasising of people’s reactions to Skye and her general demeanour. Though I highly doubt Lisa-Skye would have a good poker face. They’re so animated in everything they say and show every emotion that goes with them, it’s an absolute riot watching them on stage.
We also delve into slower, emotional parts where Lisa-Skye reads from a diary. They catalogue deep fears and moments of self-consciousness. They reach out and connect to me. At times I choke up from having had the same instances Skye describes, voice quiet for now, so opposite to the rest of the act. I loved these parts, I loved the becalming nature of these parts. Lisa-Skye at her least manic and animated is also them at their most vulnerable and doubtful. Lisa-Skye is a ship relishing the challenging seas, and being becalmed shows their struggle to move forward.
Lisa-Skye is amazing. They are more themselves than anyone I’ve met, being exactly who they are inside and projecting outside in a way that is both inspirational and aspirational. Spiders Wearing Party Hats takes us on a phantasmagorical journey of how they lives their life as Lisa-Skye. It’s a tale of drugs, sex and glitter. They read, they sing, they prance, they are dazzlingly alive. They taught me my new favourite catch-all insult “dustfuck” and my life will forever be better for it.
Lisa-Skye: Spiders Wearing Party Hats is at the Gryphon Theatre from Thursday the 23rd – Saturday the 25th of February. Tickets are available at www.fringe.co.nz