Reviews and Interviews

The Oxonian Review in conversation with Lashings

May 31st 2012, interview by Chloe Stopa-Hunt

"Burlesque is the only word we can find that describes what we do. We take social norms and turn them on their heads, exposing and mocking their contingent nature. We use comedy sketches, song parodies – and yes, sometimes sexualised dance – to express ourselves, to make audiences laugh first and think second. It’s very much a twenty-first-century version of music hall."

Review of "Political: A Gender"

in Sabotage, September 7 2011, by James Webster and Dana Bubulj

"Lashings of Ginger Beer Time had a wonderful collection of radical feminist songs, sketches and burlesque. Successfully satirising Gok Wan, Disney’s heteronormative nature, ‘anti-obesity’ campaigns, Daily Mail’s perceptions of lesbians, and was generally an amazing celebration of diversity in gender, sexuality and queerness.

Sally Outen performed some amazing stand-up comedy. Starting from her own experiences and ranging all the way to the hilarious wrongness that is the book ‘Duncton Wood’ (which seems to be essentially Mole-porn), she was hilarious."

A minute of your time

Interview with Sally Outen in The Scotsman, 22nd August 2011, by Andrew Eaton-Lewis

"I enjoy surrealist comedy, but this time I wanted to focus on my own experiences. So I drew on the more bizarre aspects of my everyday life - the conversations I find myself having with people who don't really get what it means to be trans or bisexual. I just take people's misconceptions to extremes - it's all very silly, but I'm making a serious point too."

Critical Wit, Sexy Skits and Geeky Singalongs

Intervew and review in BoLT Magazine, June 2011, Issue 8 p30, by Ariel Silvera

"The simple question resonates: “can feminists be funny?” The next hour will show us a resounding affirmative, as humour, sarcasm and critique will be in no short supply tonight.....[Their Buffy parody] strikes a chord in its mixture of cutting wit and appreciation for the original work, leaving the audience with humorous quotes but, also, a solid amount of analysis. It’s a show and an education."

International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival

May 2011

"The burlesque cabaret certainly waves the ‘alternative’ flag in this years programme. These fiesty females could easily be a combination of acts from Alternative Miss Ireland, but it is such a celebration to see a team of young women regale an audience with their tales in song and comedy of sex, taboo, domination, sexuality, gender identity and what ever else you want to throw into the box. "

Scotsgay review ★ ★ ★ ★

August 2010, Issue 105 p18, by Christina Sutton

"Mercilessly deconstructing gender, exploring feminism and fighting prejudice through parodic song, sketch and stand-up this refreshing and highly intelligent team are well worth a visit this Festival....  the musical numbers themselves sparkle with a wonderful fusion of wit and outrage that I absolutely adored. Special mention must go to Sally Outen who performed some of the most interesting and original stand-up comedy I have seen at the Fringe .... If only Lashings of Ginger Beer could land themselves on the national curriculum.... Go and see this razor sharp cabaret, I guarantee you will leave feeling highly stimulated."

The Scotsman review ★ ★ ★ ★

August 18 2010, by Sally Stott

"If you want to see something really empowering ... you need Lashings Of Ginger Beer Time, a show by a "queer radical feminist burlesque collective" who promise "titillation for the brain". This may sound rather an odd mix, but in the mid-1800s, burlesque was typically seen as political satire which sent up popular culture of the day. Through subverting well known pop songs in the way many contemporary comedians do (also influenced by burlesque's history), Lashings Of Ginger Beer Time revive this lesser-known element of the burlesque tradition. The song Hakuna Matata, from The Lion King, becomes a celebration of being a lesbian, Rent's Take Me or Leave Me, a debate about dieting pressures, while an updated version of 1950s classic Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) pokes fun at a politically correct gay couple and their right-on ideas about rearing children.

"As with 'true' or classical burlesque, Lashings of Ginger Beer Time contains hardly any striptease apart from a single routine where a businesswoman miserably takes off her clothes in a way that brilliantly parodies all that is wrong with New Burlesque and stripping more generally."

Hairline review ★ ★ ★ ★

August 2010

"Anything with political intentions has the capacity to be embarrassingly earnest (especially to the British – we prefer irony), but despite the fact that some of the comedy is a little self-conscious, it’s clever and it doesn’t apologise for itself. The good humour, self awareness and wit of this cast avert disaster and produce a show that is hilarious and self-mocking, acerbic and intelligent. Beginning with a scathing musical satire of Gok Wan, presenter of TV’s How to look good naked, and all that it represents (“I’ll make you bearable” trills the camp young singer winningly), and ending with a rousing chorus of “join the fight with me, against the hetero-patriarchy” to a funky tune, the cast shower you with musical comedy that will challenge your prejudices and open your mind… and not always gently. The audience is kept on their toes as complacent socio-politics are attacked from every angle and in strong language, but always with a smile. Don’t be surprised if you come away with a different view of transgender people, gay marriage, or the modern rise in raunch culture....the sense of freedom and acceptance that comes from being in a space where genuinely liberal politics are celebrated, can’t be emphasised enough. This isn’t a show for everyone, but it should be."

Queering the Corset

Feature in The Skinny, July 20 2010 p36, by Morag Hannah

" "I think it's possible to be very funny and very thought provoking," says Sebastienne. "If you're having your ideas about the world challenged, it's easier to take if it makes you laugh." With an act that includes songs as diverse as Vagina Dentata, about tabloid representations of radical feminism, a Sapphic reworking of Taylor Swift's Love Song, and a version of Cole Porter's You're the Top that takes on a meaning Porter probably didn't originally intend, one would hope that everybody will find something to entertain."

The Oxford Theatre Review ★ ★ ★ ★

May 16 2010, by Natalya Din-Kariuki

"I had expected something very different when I agreed to review a performance by Lashings of Ginger Beer Time, a radical feminist burlesque collective. Instead of repetitive, over-politicized skits and speeches riddled with cliché and cringiness, the evening consisted of two and a half hours of wit, insight, and the occasional cheekily-wielded riding crop…Fresh, honest, and infallibly intelligent, Lashings of Ginger Beer Time takes its audience on a journey of LGBT and heterosexual experiences, shedding light on and satirizing the assumptions about gender and sexuality made by society...

"Lashings of Ginger Beer Time challenges the concept of a “real woman” or a “real man” with a style that Judith Butler herself would envy – a sketch depicting group therapy for Disney princesses struck down by misogyny (Snow White would have been entirely happy continuing to live with her primary, secondary, and even septenary dwarf partners without princely intervention) made childish ‘fantasy’ seem suddenly much more disturbing. Indeed, the collective strikes the delicate balance of touching upon entirely serious issues in a predominantly comic way, be they related to polyamory, sexual identity or women’s weight. Of note was Sally Outen, a transgender member of the collective, who took us on a whistle-stop tour of her transition in a delineation of transgender politics, hilariously elaborating upon the ridiculousness of caring about the state of a transgender person’s genitals... Currently raising money to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Lashings of Ginger Beer Time makes it clear that we have not heard the last of them yet. We’re all glad to hear it."

The Oxford Theatre Review ★ ★ ★ ★

May 16 2010, by Sujata Banerjee

"A hodgepodge of queer feminist voices and stories, Lashings could be the love child of Sally Bowles and Judith Butler, with a smattering of humour thrown in for good measure. Cleverly combining lampoons of gay representation in film and television... with a wry stand-up piece on gender dysmorphia and more chilling dance routines about prostitution, the pace of the evening certainly manages to elicit both garrulous laughter and quiet reflection from the audience.

"One of Lashings’ greatest strengths is the obvious ensemble dynamics, and the mutual trust and respect the cast members have for each other; even minor slip-ups... seem organic, offering an insight into Lashings’ creative processes...

"Equally impressive is Lashings’ ability to engage with contemporary popular culture like 'Doctor Who', offering an intelligent deconstructive reading of the role of the photogenic female companions to quirky male leads. Similarly topical references include allusions to David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s 'mandate' and song lyrics such as 'You’re like animal testing / Baby, stop protesting, I’m your guinea pig.'"

Review: Lashings of Ginger Beer

The Cherwell, May 9 2010, by Andrew McCormack

"Don't be fooled by the name. Bike rides and picnics do not feature in the latest cabaret-style showcase from Lashings of Ginger Beer, Oxford's own Radical Feminist Burlesque Collective. Certainly not everyone's cup of tea, Lashings' goal is to entertain and challenge the audience through song, dance and stand-up comedy...

"The sunny personas adopted by the performers mask their politically charged intentions to bring about greater awareness and tolerance through an enjoyable art form. Good intentions abound, and a parody of a number from Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Musical! makes a witty and poignant comment about the treatment of gay and lesbian characters in mainstream media, namely their alarming tendency to end up very quickly dead or mad...

"Their desire to give a fresh, reassuring and confident voice to often misaligned and taboo LGBTQ subjects in an entertaining way is commendable, and one hopes an open-minded and receptive audience will appreciate the exuberance and warmth of Lashings of Ginger Beer."

Feminist Burlesque? How Queer ★ ★ ★ ★

Review in The Oxford Student, May 6 2010, by Alex Harvey

"Lashings of Ginger Beer are a Radical Left Queer Feminist Burlesque Collective. You read that right. In fact, you rather do keep updating that name as more descriptors are slipped in.

"Do they live up to their quirky name and mind-blowing genre? Well, in a word, yes. In multiple words, Lashings is funny, sexy, subversive and doesn't so much break boundaries as dismiss them entirely. From a cheeky song about lesbian sex, to a bit of transgendered stand-up, a reworked Buffy song about lesbians in the mainstream media or a clever look at objectification, Lashings was at some points thought-provoking and at some points just an unpretentious good time.

"Lashings' mission is to make the audience have a fun time even if they're not predisposed to like them, and they seem to succeed - though no homophobes were forthcoming as test subjects, mind. If you come with an open mind, they're very eager to fill it up with good things.

"This is not the po-faced feminism that lurks in the fevered imaginations of Daily Mail columnists, but a romp through sexuality by a group of people who love what they do and who they are.

"Particularly good in the laughter/perspective-widening stakes was Sally, a gently amusing stand-up who made jokes about the prejudiced curiosity that the transgendered encounter day to day. I also liked the song about lesbians in media, which discussed how ultimately reactionary straight culture still is even when it includes queer characters.

"All in all, I think it's important that things like Lashings exist, as it was a great laugh and a great look at an important subculture which is only recently getting the recognition it deserves. Great singing, good fun, and lashings of sapphism. Give it a go - you won't regret it."

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