Sunday, 1 January 2012

A year in the life of Lashings

AnnalyticaPosted by Annalytica

It seems like an appropriate time to look back on 2011. It's been a very busy year for Lashings! We've developed new acts, welcomed new members, met some awesome people, and generally had a fabulous time!




2011 began with preparations for the annual St Hilda's Queer Cabaret. Sebastienne had been performing at Queer Cabaret with Girlesque, (in many ways a pre-cursor to Lashings), nearly every year since it began. It was a sign of how far Lashings had come since those early beginnings that this year we headlined at Queer Cabaret. Doctor Carmilla, as well as being our tech Goddess, performed with the Mechanisms. As a finale, we performed "Everyone's a Little Bit Privileged" for the very first time, and Galatea's writing, Sebastienne's Stephen Fry impersonation, and Lilka's and my sock puppet skills were met with uproarious applause. On the same day, we launched this here blog!

A few weeks later we were off to York for the Carnival of Feminist Cultural Activism. Here we met with all manner of exciting feminist artists, academics and activists, including PhD student Vikki Chalklin who later joined us as a guest performer in Edinburgh. We performed twice at the Carnival, and took part in sessions exploring topics ranging from queer club nights to romance novels to fat acceptance. Sebastienne wrote up our adventures in full here.

In May we were off again, this time travelling to Dublin for the International Gay Theatre Festival. Nigel Newt the Amazing Token Boy joined us and was fantastically deadpan in the sci fi skits.We performed in the delightfully decadent Cobalt Cafe (Galatea posted pictures here), and saw some brilliant shows including the hilarious and filthy Buttboy and Tigger (NSFW). We met the amazing Ariel Silvera, editor of BOLT magazine, and recently listed in DIVA as one of twelve women to watch in 2012.

June saw LGBT Pride in Oxford. We put on our first ever acoustic show in the East Oxford Community Centre - no backing tracks, just live accompaniment from Florestan and Doctor Carmilla. We performed The Song of the Promiscuous Bisexuals - words by Plaidder, music by Doctor Carmilla - for the first time. In a self-referential attack of meta, we also premiered "Real Burlesque Show" - a song which deconstructs preconceptions about burlesque and explores just what it is we're trying to do with this here show.

In July we were sad to say goodbye to technical goddess Doctor Carmilla, who is now studying in Liverpool. Doctor Carmilla continues to work on her own solo projects, and you can see her perform  in Edinburgh in February.

We also took part in the first Cutlery Drawer event, Moulin Rage. Cutlery Drawer is organised by Lashfriend and all round awesome person Hel Gurney. This was where we first came across the gorgeous and talented CN Lester. We performed two new acts for the first time: the Facebook sketch, and Two Butches, a poly dyke take on Cabaret's Two Ladies.  Moulin Rage raised £385 for Rape Crisis South London.

In August we just squeezed in a final Oxford show at the Bullingdon before heading off to Edinburgh. Ah, Edinburgh. Highlights included the woman on the Royal Mile who regarded our rainbow flag and observed that "You can never be sure if it's Christians or lesbians," the inexplicable gargoyle throne toilet in our flat, and the guest performance by Vikki Chalklin. This time around Sally had her very own show, complete with cardboard cut-outs and mole-porn. New Lashings acts included Robette's sit-down comedy on asexuality, and Galatea's gorgeous poem "Pygmalion and Galatea". While we didn't get so many reviews as last year, we did get consistently good audiences - so word must be spreading!

September saw the second Cutlery Drawer event: the marathon that was Political: A Gender. Having got back from Edinburgh two days earlier didn't stop us enjoying a fantastic evening at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. More stunning music from CN Lester, side-splitting menstruation-based comedy from Jason Barker, and very clever poetry from Elaine O'Neill and Hel Gurney were just some of the acts we were lucky enough to see.

In October we teamed up with the Oxford International Women's Festival to put on another show at the East Oxford Community Centre. New Lashers Zim (aka Ashes O'Reilly of Mechanisms fame) and Goblin joined us for a hugely enjoyable show. Memorably Robette and Goblin were adorable in Love Story, having met for the first time that afternoon.

Since then, it may appear we've been rather quiet....but as Sebastienne says, we have been working on a very exciting project to bring you in the New Year! Reports that London rehearsals have all been organised to coincide with CN Lester's performances are entirely unproven.

Wishing you a very happy 2012!

Lashings
x

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