EFR - Reviews of Madame Magenta: Libros Mystica

Madame Magenta: Libros Mystica

Sat 2nd – Sun 24th August 2014

reviews

Gender Trouble

at 09:48 on 7th Aug 2014

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Madame Magenta's stand up show 'Libros Mystica' succeeded in irritating just as much as it did in entertaining.The show began with Madame, dressed in a fabulous Japanese print kimono (nay dressing gown), frantically trying to put up a poster for her own show. This motif of self promotion permeated the show and, of course, climaxed in the selling of her book by the door.

Whilst the 'scripted' bits of the show were indeed entertaining, Madame's talent displayed itself more vividly in her improvisation and all too frequent pickings on audience members (a lady in the front row said she gave up smoking before E cigarettes were invented, to which Madame replied 'But sweetheart you're only twelve! And your mum over there can't be older than thirteen').

Another highlight was Madame's demonstration of the 'poetry of eye contact'. This involved her picking an audience member and displaying such a variety of facial expressions that her face seemed to be made out of elastic.

The show was riddled with silliness which - though enjoyable - could, at times, also be quite annoying. Madame's squawking demand for audience response and loud high-pitchedness was a bit like being attacked by a camp blowtorch. However, this was compensated by a genuine wittiness that frequently emerged in her jokes: labelling 'bloke literature' as 'the literary equivalent of Lynx Africa' incurred a ripple of laughter, as did Madame's notion of 'putting the sass in the SAS'.

At times, however, her reliance on audience participation was all too dependable, and was often greeted with disinterested grunts and murmurs. This was disappointing as one couldn't help but notice her retreat back to (clearly well-rehearsed) scripted material. That said, the sheer vulgarity of Madame's jokes had the audience in stitches and was certainly worth witnessing despite other blips in her show: "I called a body part something fun to boost self-esteem. My vagina's called Angelina Jolie, not just because of the lips". Need I say more?

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Amber Roberts

at 11:41 on 7th Aug 2014

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Although entertaining at times, Madame Magenta’s: Libros Mystica lacked much of the magic and intrigue it promised.

Lindsey Sharp played the ostentatious character of Madame Magenta: meaning a ‘madame’-like role model for Magenta or ‘Scarlett’ Women. Magenta walked in, flashing an array of vibrant colours; a silken turquoise robe, a bright orange feathery headdress and many twinkling jewels. However, beneath this array lay some flimsy looking pyjama bottoms, perhaps foreshadowing the performance ahead.

Her mystic-meg type character was presented as somewhat egocentric and blunt. Rather than just employing a straight satire, Sharp presented a mystic who only very thinly veiled, if at all, her exploitation of ‘the weak’ and failed to show even a remote glimmer of magical prowess. She was a mystic who occasionally stumbled ‘bloody..’ and bluntly referred to her own magic as ‘shit’and ‘bollocks’.

This show forced me to ask why you would bother pretending to be mystic at all, if not to attempt to maintain the guise. It also robbed the audience of an opportunity to expose her falsities themselves. A lot of the Mystic-gags were simply what one might expect, for example asking a member of the audience to borrow their credit card to get their ‘vibes’. Very little genuine wit followed.

Admittedly, Magenta had an intentionally chaotic, clumsy charm about her, while encouraging the audience to open their ‘hearts, minds and wallets’. A highlight of the performance was Magenta’s non-verbal poetry, entitled ‘prostate examination’. Sharp’s awkward gawky gangly stance, and entrancing facial expressions reminiscent of a crazy chicken squawking, proved shocking and amusing.

Another more interesting moment was the companion piece that Magenta writes to Lady Chatterley’s lover, describing the confessions of a gamekeeper; personifying and sexualising plant-life. She writes of the Bumblebees being’ Bukkakeed’ by several flowers, and the penis’ of Lilies spraying cum like a Magaluf stag party. Although faintly original, provocative and amusing, this content may prove just too explicit for some viewers.

Apart from a brief question of whether life is just merely a series of allusions, I felt that Sharp failed to address anything real, or remotely important, with her humour. She merely scratched the surface. Sharp presents a very facially expressive and eccentric character, but I expect Madame Magenta’s Libros Mystica will only appeal to those looking for light-hearted humour and not much else.

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