Kirsty Little, Average White Girl

Review in Issue 10-1 | Spring 1998

Devised and performed by Kirsty Little and directed by Erica Whyman, Average White Girl is a one-woman show. Using trapeze, stilts, film, fire and sound, Little leads us through a montage of juxtaposed image-based scenes on the subject of being a woman. Despite some awkward links and technical problems, the initial visual ideas are innovative and often beautiful. In one scene Little swings euphorically in mid-air; stretched spread-eagle against a projected backdrop of blue sky. In another, she is wheeled on with a large pig: both of them hang naked from meat hooks. Combined, the images for a piece of constantly shifting moods.

But each glimpse of poetry is frustratingly short-lived and rarely are images developed beyond a primary idea or stereotype. The result is that frequent forays into the political often let the piece down as Little only half-heartedly traces a series of dilemmas, gripes and observations, most of which we have all heard before. Average White Girl is presented as a personal revelation of female experience, yet Little’s performance remains rather too cool and confident to be engaging. Risks to her own safety on the trapeze and rope, and to her modesty when she takes her clothes off, remain as practical displays which contain little emotional depth. Hence the unfortunate irony that, amidst complaints against female objectification, her naked defiance is obscured by her own attractiveness.

Ultimately the subject matter provides little more than a hackneyed vehicle for Kirsty Little’s diverse range of skills and powers of theatrical invention. It’s a disappointment for anyone hoping to hear anything new about womankind.

Artforms
Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 1998

This article in the magazine

Issue 10-1
p. 26