Andrea Spisto: Butch Princesa
- Katharine Gemmell
- 8 August 2019
This article is from 2019
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.