Review: In Whorefish Bloomers – The Waitresses’ Lament

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In Whorefish Bloomers - The Waitresses’ LamentIn Whorefish Bloomers – The Waitresses’ Lament is a feminist cabaret performed by two bright young actresses, Jamie-Lee Money and Donna Cormack-Thomson, who play two waitresses on their first shift at a new job.

A witty cabaret with a sharp delivery, the choreography is inventive and aerobic, and the actresses’ energy never dips for a second.

The play looks at the experience of inhabiting the female body, touching on virginity, sexual harassment, and being an object of desire under the ever-present male gaze.

At first it seems the play offers up two opposing stereotypes but, as it progresses, we see the generalisations are far more complex than originally thought as each character faces the same struggles. Both hugely professional, the two actresses don’t vie for attention on stage – rather, they complement each other’s performances perfectly and occupy their space equally, each bringing their own unique charisma to their role.

Adapted from Sue Pam-Grant and Sheena Stannard’s 1980s underground feminist cabaret, you can’t help but wonder how much of the play has been reinvented for a 21st century audience. However, decades later, the original content remains relevant as the characters face the same struggles which inspired their 80s counterparts to write and perform the original piece.

Jamie-Lee Money and Donna Cormack-Thomson are directed by Kei-Ella Loewe, and the three have worked together since their first year of undergraduate study at UCT Drama Department. It will be interesting to see what these ladies will achieve as a trio in the future.

Suzanne Duncan

In Whorefish Bloomers: The Waitresses’ Lament is on at The Alexander Upstairs Theatre from the 17th to the 22nd of July at 9pm. Tickets are R100 (R90 online).

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