Andrea Spisto: Butch Princesa (4 stars)

This article is from 2019

Andrea Spisto: Butch Princesa

credit: Jahel Guerra

Genre-busting immersive theatre

The bureaucratic requirement for Fringe shows to fit into neat categories is highly contentious, especially when a show is so unique that it takes that little box and smashes it into oblivion. Andrea Spisto's Butch Princesa is a prime example of this, with elements of clowning, cabaret, character and sketch comedy synthesising to create soul-baring, professionally DIY, immersive theatre.

In her surreal opening sketch, she constructs the unseen world of South America's Harry Potter, complete with a Latin remix of the theme tune. Her Latinx professor (played by a frog puppet) urges her to embrace her own culture's magic, but Andrea adamantly dreams of the British version – a comment on Western cultural supremacy.

Spisto is an idiosyncratic performer, but nothing is done just for a tawdry, absurd laugh. In fact, beneath all of her madcap sketches are liberating perspectives. We see her dressed as a giant white puffball, visually representing cocaine, as a critique of Britain's hypocritical middle-class coke habit; the next she's overtly celebrating the beauty of queer sex or singing a pansexual pop song that salutes liking what you like.

Principally, Butch Princesa is a love letter to Spisto's Latinx roots, queer identity and the nature of evolving as a person, especially as an immigrant. Its forward-thinking stance endeavours to open up minds and convey how Spisto learned to release herself from society's shackles.

Heroes @ The SpiegelYurt, until 25 Aug (not 13), £5.

Andrea Spisto: Butch Princesa

  • 4 stars

Andrea Spisto Character comedy, dance and Latin beats guide you deep into a surreal queer immigrant wonderland. Unflinchingly emotional art explosion. Honest to the teeth and under the skin fun. Brave, joyful, fiery! A show full of insights into gender boundaries, politics and human magic. 'Spisto provides a valuable…