Lucy Pearman: Maid of Cabbage
- Arusa Qureshi
- 11 August 2017
Immersive and eccentric trip into the vegetable patch
When Lucy Pearman enters the room in her Edwardian-style maid outfit, there's a deceptively unassuming quality about her. 'Traditionally, unmarried maids were sent into the vegetable garden to choose the perfect cabbage,' she tells us, reciting a quote written on top of the scenic countryside backdrop. But this task proves far from easy, with her 'bad side' threatening to rear its ugly head at every turn.
Relying heavily on the participation of her audience, Maid of Cabbage is in many ways an involuntarily immersive experience. One person becomes Joey the horse, while another is her soldier lover, identified by a beefeater hat and the occasional snippet of 'Crank That (Soulja Boy)'. But despite the unpredictability of people's reactions, Pearman does well to respond effectively to whatever is thrown at her.
The search for that elusive cabbage may form the basis of an outlandish plot, but it's this incoherence along with the sudden transformation from maiden to monster that highlights Pearman's eccentric approach to clowning. Lucy the maid exudes an air of innocence but when she's provoked and her devilish side released, the combination of the dramatic change of lighting, sound and quick costume switch-up works to draw attention to the absurd nature of both character and storyline.
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