Laughing All the Way to the Ghetto: Lesbian Farce
DOI link for Laughing All the Way to the Ghetto: Lesbian Farce
Laughing All the Way to the Ghetto: Lesbian Farce book
This article is written from several seemingly diverse interests. The above quotation begins to outline an attitude towards what can be called a “popular” form peculiar to British theatre: the Whitehall Farce. However, I do not intend a critique of farce as a form per se; rather, I intend to open a discourse about modern lesbian theatre in Britain during the last five or six years. My interest in farce vis-à-vis lesbian theatre, has grown from a production I was involved in by Red Rag Women’s Theatre Company. The play attempted a radical parody of the Whitehall form and was called Ooh, Missus!, signifying a pastiche, the ultimate ridiculously suggestive title much favoured by the Whitehall farceurs. I am a performing and devising member of Red Rag Women’s Theatre Company (a lesbian collective) and I lecture in Drama and Theatre Studies at London University. Such autobiographical information is not designed to better acquaint the reader with the author, rather it is to identify the difficuly in constructing a critique from both inside and out, as it were. This difficulty is exacerbated by the fact that there is little language available with which to describe the experience of performance from the performer’s point of view. Most theatre theory is constructed from within a patriarchal framework which effectively disempowers the performer in the creative process, the performer being at the bottom of the pyramid in the male-defined power structures in operation. However, it is my intention to attempt an analysis of a production by Red Rag Women’s Theatre Company in London last year with a view to assessing the current trends in lesbian theatre as a whole.