The Riot Showgrrrls Club (3 stars)

This article is from 2008.

The Riot Showgrrrls Club

Cabaret fun with an anti-porn message

A polemic against mainstream pornography is not what you’d expect from two be-corseted cabaret performers, but as the Riot Showgrrrls say themselves, there’s a difference between taste and morality, and this show aims to celebrate the flamboyant variations of safe sexual practice while condemning violent, fetishised versions of sex.

For a lot of its length the show is a recap of some things we already know about sex and porn. It’s no secret that pornography likes to subjugate women, and that the women are often lying when they say they like it. History suggests that outwardly confident girls often get the wrong kind of attention and that sex with someone you love is always better. But it isn’t all so obviously the case here and the section on S&M sex raises dubious points about acceptable forms of male violence that are left largely undeveloped.

The politics aside, this features a good performance by two female singer-songwriters with sparkling wit and commanding stage presence. The cabaret elements aren’t just a foil to get bums on seats, but a sideways (if incomplete) approach to complex issues of the male gaze. It’s an entertaining show that some members of the audience might find themselves slightly at odds with.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, 668 6550, until 25 Aug, 10.15pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7.50–£8.50).

The Riot Showgrrrls Club

  • 3 stars

Not just another burlesque cabaret show: the girlies in basques are here to tell you about male abuses of power and the subjugation of women in pornography. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe'

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