Pussies have been in the limelight of late thanks to a certain American president and his penchant for grabbing them. His antics have led to outrage and protest, inspiring many types of satire in an attempt to say ‘this pussy is mine and I’ll use it as I please’.
Power Pussies, a new cabaret and burlesque show in Fitzroy, embraces this attitude: It’s all about pussy autonomy and empowerment!
Once every month Radio Bar on Gertrude Street is transformed into a playground for fierce performers and their take on what it means to be a power pussy. I myself am involved in a charitable company coincidentally called ‘Not This Pussy’, so obviously I jumped at the opportunity to go see what these ladies have in store.
My plus one and I were lucky to snatch up tickets for the most recent Power Pussies show in March and had seats with a perfect view of Radio Bar’s intimate stage. The wonderful host, Sophie DeLightful, started the show with a daring strip reveal of a larger-than-life labia! Sounds out there? These pussies were only getting started!
DeLightful introduced the next artist as Pyra Teknix and let’s just say that this performer delivered on her artist name – sparks were literally flying! Next up, punk cabaret artist InkBits from Canberra gave a raw and brave performance that challenged the traditional view of what it means to be female and brought the topic of transgender identity firmly to the table. To complete the pussy quartet, Melbourne’s very own Bonnie Rose delivered a more classic burlesque piece with an extra lashing of sass.
During the break the cozy setting of Radio Bar presented the perfect backdrop for inspired conversation and allowed guests and performers to mingle. After the interval all four artists delivered a second performance piece and really raised the outrageous bar that little bit higher. Bodily fluids, rocket titties (!), ritualistic voodoo dancing: it was on. Throughout the night, Sophie DeLightful treated us to fierce yet soulful songs and showed off her incredible vocal range, accompanied by Michael Chalk on the keys.
The general atmosphere throughout the show was fantastic; the audience was extremely engaged, people were cheering and it genuinely felt like a celebration of ladies kicking butt. Even after the performances were over, guests stayed on to have a dance, enjoy a drink at the bar, and chat with the artists.
Some might argue that feminism and burlesque cannot co-exist. Personally I believe the beauty, if not the triumph, of cabaret and burlesque lies in women’s ability to celebrate their sexuality, whatever that may be, defiant of convention and fully in charge of their own bodies. Power Pussies is a fabulous example of this and very relevant to current global political trends.
Power Pussies was a thoroughly entertaining show. Make sure you go and check out their next line-up.
Claudia B. is a German/Kiwi graphic designer and illustrator who has been living and working in Melbourne for the last six years. She enjoys a good glass of scotch and the occasional pole dancing class. Claudia also helps donate proceeds from notthispussy.com.au to charities in support of women’s rights, refugees, and climate change.
Power Pussies runs monthly at Radio Bar, 79 Gertrude Street in Fitzroy, Melbourne. Visit Sophie DeLightful’s Facebook page for dates.