You’d expect the audience to be shocked, taken aback, and downright, well, offended. The beauty of this show is that at no point did the audience seem remotely bothered. The humour was so masterfully crafted that the audience was too busy laughing to care about the performers’ state of undress. Each moment of this show delivers on big laughs and brazen body flaunting.
Probably my favourite moment in the show was watching Bates and Tuck have a shootout using their breasts as guns. This scene perfectly encapsulates the entire feeling of the piece. There was a playful tone as both women dove, rolled, and crept around the stage. It incorporated the audience as Tuck “reloaded” in order to machine gun us all down and encouraged us to play dead. Most importantly it showed the performers thoroughly taking possession of their bodies. They alone have a say in what they do with their bodies and how they display them.
The show is clear in its message specifically mentioning all the types of activism it isn’t addressing. It acknowledges that some people might be upset by them not broadening the spectrum. They mention trans women, race relations, indigenous people, and even cultural insensitivity only to tell the audience that it’s unrelated to their message. However, to claim that they didn’t go far enough by broadening the scope of the show is to miss the point of the piece. This show is Bates and Tuck boldly reclaiming their own bodies through riotous comedy. It’s personal, honest, and highly ridiculous.
I left this piece feeling empowered and capable of making my own declaration. This is my body, and I’ll do what I please with it. I know I can because I’ve seen two talented artists show me that it’s possible. The show is neither argumentative nor angry. It is a fantastically funny show with gratuitous nudity that I would feel comfortable watching with my grandfather beside me. The show runs from now until the 19th, at BATS Theatre. Wednesday night’s performance is going to end with a special splash for the audience, and Saturday’s performance will end with a discussion on “queering bodies”. It’s worth clearing your schedule to go and ask yourself, as Bates asks the audience, “Why are we so afraid of nudity?”