Preview: I Love Ursula Hamdress

This article is from 2016

Preview: Ursula Hamdress

credit: Gabriella Zeno

Exploitation takes on new forms in this new theatre show

Inspired by Carol Adams' book The Sexual Politics of Meat, Gabrielle Zeno's solo performance is an unflinching critique of the commodification of women's bodies. Ursula Hamdress was a sow dressed up like a Playmate in the magazine for pig farmers Playboar in 1981. From this striking image, Zeno draws a link between an aspiring showgirl in all her finery, and the farming of sows for their meat.

'During my research, I realised that the female body is an object used only for profit,' she says. By focusing on female bodies valued in terms of aesthetic presentation and as objects to be consumed, Zeno asks pertinent questions around society's understanding and representation of women.

'I hope that I love Ursula Hamdress will be a strong emotional and visual experience for the spectators, and so that some of them really can take awareness about the condition of women and farmed animals,' she explains. And despite the violence of the imagery and scope of the themes, Zeno intends to engage audiences on a personal level: 'I hope that it increases in the female audience the awareness of a deep and intimate experience.'

Spotlites (Venue 278) 22–26 George Street, 21–28 Aug, 1pm, £10 (£8).

I Love Ursula Hamdress

  • 5 stars

Gabriella Zeno Theatre and physical theatre about the contemporary condition of women and farmed animals, created following Carol Adams' lecture The sexual Politics of Meat. On the stage an aspiring showgirl talks about herself. Step by step the life of an ordinary ditsy girl merges into that of a cow, of a sow, in a way…