In Conversation With…Pussy

Lucy Stewart catches up with the women behind exciting new show, Pussy

It’s August once more, meaning that the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is back in force and Bristol University students are once more adding their voices to the selection.

Tight Theatre, made up of UoB drama students, has already played two nights in Bristol and a night at the Pleasance, London. They are now turning their attention to the Fringe Festival with their five woman show, Pussy.

As they explain, it’s not about cats.

The press release for Pussy has the sub-heading ‘Is there anything better in this world than a pretty girl in her underwear?’ It epitomises the show’s aims: to ironically force people to think about what it means to be a girl growing up in today’s society, how society shapes women’s perceptions of appearance and the ultimate need for sexual satisfaction.

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It is a grotesquely comedic exploration of the taboos of female adolescent society, which combines dance, song, animal noises and Beyoncé lyrics to create their own, distinctly physical style.

TWSS caught up with Tight Theatre ahead of their Edinburgh Fringe show and discussed their inspiration and aims for Pussy.

‘We felt it was important to represent ourselves well in a field mostly dominated by men,’ they explained. ‘There is a constant pressure on females from the media and we are bombarded with images of unreal perfection.’

Tight Theatre aim to create their own space free from the sexist expectations of show business and break down the stereotypes women are expected to embody.

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They also highlighted that it is important to them to explore how women treat each other and the effect of this on society. Expanding on this issue, they explained that whilst many women are told to strive for the unachievable, it has become acceptable to shame other women. They added that these problems have a personal significance to the cast and have inspired the production.

Tight Theatre believe that Pussy forms an important piece of theatre in the resurgence of feminism in young women. They cite campaigns such as #freethenipple which provide a counterpoint to the constant sexualisation of women throughout the media; something which they feel they are adding their personal voices to.

During our discussion, we broached the problematic question of costumes: how do they decide what to wear? Trying to tackle the concept of female perceptions of appearance obviously raises problems when considering how to dress as a group. Tight Theatre’s solution is to give the impression of nakedness or bare flesh, but to actually cover their cast member’s entire bodies. They explained that ‘it’s a mix of granny and baby’ – in other words, they aim make bare flesh completely un-sexualised. This way, their show stands alone through the actors’ actions and movements, rather than their appearances.

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But do they think the show can appeal to all women and actually inspire women, and society as a whole, to change their assumptions?

The Pussy women claimed that, yes, the show can appeal to everyone, because it tackles issues of gender conformity which are relevant to all. Dealing with subjects such as masturbation, it contains themes that can not only appeal to everyone, but also change perceptions. This show hopes to make people realise that the stereotypes imposed on women are ridiculous, and give us something to laugh at.

Tight Theatre is made up of Ellie Brown, Grace Courtney, Camille Dawson, Emily Parrett, Natasha Mayo, Lucy Mann, Jessica Moffat and Ailsa McKay.

To see them at this year’s Edinburgh Festival, head to the Laughing Horse @ the Counting House Ballroom from 6th August until 19th August from 11.30pm. Visit their facebook page for more information.

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