Review of: The Enby Show

More truly terrible performance art from the queerbies …

‘Remember, remember, the fifth no gender’

The blurby bit

An all-star variety night popping with creme-de-la-thems, The Enby Show brings together the finest non-binary talent the UK has to offer. 

They are joining the ‘Rehearsing Utopia’ series to explore through live cabaret and drag what a future gender utopia might look like… join us!

There are a limited number of tickets available for those who find the ticket price a barrier.

This event is part of Rehearsing Utopia, a series micro-commissioned by Rich Mix that invites artists to imagine their visions of the future.

From Rich Mix’s website

Rehearsing Utopia

The show was part of a series at the Rich Mix called ‘Rehearsing Utopia’. According to the Rich Mix, utopia involves networking parties for BAME people, discussing systemic racism with a panel of black women no one has ever heard of, a DJ set/club night for LGBTQIA+ people (quiet room included) and this show I’m talking about here, the Enby Show, a sub-par cabaret act. That’s utopia. Not solving world hunger, promoting world peace or even engaging deprived local families in community activities. Times have changed.

Typical

A girl wearing a pirate’s eyepatch informed me the show would start an hour later than advertised, however, the really bad news was that it was two and half hours hours long.  Two and a half. Hours. The Rich Mix is in trendy Shoreditch and has ‘gender neutral’ toilets. They’re so experimental they don’t even give you a clue which have urinals and which don’t! On my first use of the inconveniences (right side door, all cubicles) I was with three huge Arabic-looking men who inspected me quizzically as I washed my hands and spoke in their own language. On my second an embarrassed black man reflexively apologised on seeing me. Not uncomfortable at all! I really love them and from now on only want to piss in the presence of strange, much bigger than me, men.

Onto the show

The show was compered by a man called Carrot. Carrot didn’t actually do too bad a job of compering, alright singing and so-so piano playing, and given he had to deal with an absolute lunatic of a fan in the audience, I respect his absolute composure. It’s like he didn’t even notice it (though maybe that was what it was). If it had been me, I’d have done my nut, as every time Carrot said anything this queerdo howled with maniacal laughter, often hee-hawing like a donkey and snorting like a pig. The fan also literally had a fan which he dramatically unfurled when he thought Carrot, or another performer, had done a really good bit. It was just the side note needed to round off the whole experience.

A bit of politics

Carrot explained to us that everyone who was performing that night was a bonafide ‘enby’, himself included, a ‘drag vegetable’ no less, and with the exact same smutty jokes you get from a regular drag queen. Carrot expressed surprise that his cabaret show had made it all the way to the Rich Mix! Carrot wanted to destroy the binary! Hooray!

Carrot set some ground rules, as if we were all joining his personal sex party. Firstly, we were all to respect consent, and would have to ask if we wanted to touch someone or give them a hug. Consent is sexy!

Secondly, because the binary was being bucked, there would be TWO INTERVALS, breaking the binary of first half and second half, unfortunately Carrot hasn’t worked out how to break the binary of performance and intermission, and I’m not sure he’s spotted it yet.

Big dick energy

Richard Energy, the first of Carrot’s cabaret acts, is a drag king and ‘comedian’. Her first joke is far too excruciating and contrived to repeat but I can tell you her second. ‘My name is Richard Energy but my friends call me Big Dick’. Ergo, Big Dick Energy. Big Dick Energy explained to us, in a squeaky voice (i.e. zero acting ability or effort), that it was ‘total bollocks’ that having a dick made you a real man. Why bring the subject up then, dear? But we were to know that Big Dick Energy had ‘fucking magic’ in her pants, ‘dipped in the tears of terfs’. No, I don’t understand it either.

‘JK. JK. JK. JK means just kidding. Not Rowling. Wouldn’t let Rowling near my pants,’ Big Dick slobbered, clearly confused about whether she was sending up male chauvinism or upholding it. I won’t say anymore, except it lasted precisely ten minutes too long.

Indian dancer

A short Indian man with long hair, who calls himself Bolly Illusion, did a bit of traditional Indian dancing and rubbed up against some members of the audience, clearly not taking on board Carrot’s decree about consent. Bolly’s dancing about was described as ‘breaking the binary through dance’. It was okay and he did pick a good tune.

Little dick energy

Next up was performer Powdered Sugar, graduate of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and his ‘spoken word piece’ (even the audience sniggered) about kink. He came onto stage wearing a BDSM harness, with an exposed bum but (thankfully) a fabric codpiece. He also wore a gag on his face made out of a toilet roll holder with toilet roll in situ. Before he started his ‘spoken word piece’ a member of the audience dutifully tugged on said loo roll, tearing a piece off. He obviously had to take the toilet roll gag off his face before he could begin, what he wisely chose not to describe as a poem. Talk about mechanical prose.

A mate of his captured the iconic moment on camera

Powdered Sugar informed us that ‘in performing kink I seek to replace gender with pleasure!‘ (imagine demented baddy panto voice but actually for real) and that he was neither ‘man or woman, dom or sub’ and then thrust his little dick forward as best he could and talked about the ‘seed of his labour’. We then heard a bit too much information about how Powdered Sugar was actually a sub all along (unsurprising given the metaphor of the toilet). He did his best to scream out his inadequacies but all I saw was a not very pretty boy desperately in search of a personality.

Badges for sale

Carrot told us merch was on sale and included pronoun badges and badges with slogans, like ‘Cis stem error’ (geddit) and ‘bye bye binary’ (huge cheers and laughter). If only we could wear these badges in public trans people would feel so much better about themselves.

A midget Drag King

Next up was Sigi Moon, who is so short she probably technically qualifies as a midget. She mimed, as drag artists are wont to do, to Tom Hardy doing Charles Bronson. It was almost like she was doing an audition as she really tried to show us that she could be just like Tom Hardy doing Charles Bronson, except the Borrowers version. It also inexplicably involved her not wearing very much.

Still of Sigi from previous show

Would the real genital fetishists please stand up?

It’s funny how it’s our side who are called genital fetishists, because every time I turn up to one of these things there’s always an obsession with body parts, either spoken about at length, if not actual nakedness, or in a few cases actual hardcore pornography. It’s strange that they can’t recognise themselves.

Waste of public money

Although the Rich Mix called this Festival ‘Rehearsing Utopia’ it only served a very niche set of people and yet would have been funded in part by taxpayer’s money (Arts Council England, Tower Hamlets Council, The Mayor of London and the City of London are all supporters). Not only did very few people turn up (the audience size was probably close to one-eight of what the space could potentially hold) but the ticket prices were reduced because trans and you can bet your bum the artists got paid. Put on exclusionary crap by all means, but it shouldn’t be at our expense.


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