"Fifty Shades of May" has everything fringe burlesque needs; a unique concept, sexy dancers and shedloads of fun. Comedian and actress, Lolly Jones, launches into her sensual satire, where she dons the roles of Theresa May, Margret Thatcher, Angela Eagle, Arlene Foster and Nicola Sturgeon.
What makes Jones’ act so special is her impeccable mimicking of the doomed politicians’ voices. As recordings play on a continual soundtrack, Jones contorts her face and body into each woman. This brings to life the self-serving and meaningless rhetoric of politicians and is a springboard for some superb, if simplistic, dance routines.
The real comedy comes from actual recordings of Theresa May. Jones makes her audience hyper aware of the absurdity of May’s comments through her voluptuous act. The infamous ‘running through fields of wheat’ is given new pizazz with sexy dancers shaking wheat. Similarly, May’s 'girls night in' PR disaster on International Women’s Day becomes a whole sequence of daring dressing gown dances.
Jones makes May do a painful post-election boogie to Sia’s song, Chandelier, and then imagines the first meeting of May and her husband. In a perfect sequence they met at the Cambridge University Conservative Society disco. As Theresa and Philip dance to The Piña Colada Song, Jones brings miraculous humanity to May’s un-relatable sound bites.
But the comedy does not stop at May. Jones runs us through the last few years of female political history. A highlight is Thatcher possessing a traumatised Theresa.
As Jones changes costumes, Liam Hourican treats the audience to a video cameo as Jacob Rees Mogg. He adds edge to an already superb show, giving Mogg the evil twist needed to propel Jones’ characters further into the patriarchal political sphere.
Although hilarity ensues, Jones is making a serious comment about the incessant questions our female politicians face. May is demeaned by her contemporaries and the press, as she is constantly compared to Thatcher and asked about her shoes. Jones’ act highlights female politicians unique struggle across the political spectrum.
While most of the comedy in "Fifty Shades of May" comes from real sound bites, Jones’ act makes a powerful statement about how we treat our female politicians. Catch her show for fifty shades of sensual, sexy satire. This is niche burlesque at its best, with more to offer than on brand nipple tassels.
Jane Prinsley for Fresh Fringe