Review: Slut at the Burrow

Review By Chloe Perrett


Thirty five minutes is all it took for the cast and crew of Slut to smack you in the face with a deeply engaging, crude, defiant and all too familiar piece of theatre. Thirty five minutes, that's it! No fussing about creating scenes, intentions or moments. It’s house lights snap! Bam! Words, facts and female energy shooting around the room with you locked in for the entire ride, and to be honest, I did not mind one bit. This stellar cast of four (Laura Jane Turner, Lauren Mass, Jessica Tanner and Michaela Bedel) all take to the stage in light blue denim, white cotton t-shirts and sneakers that make you feel as though you're one of them in the school quadrangle. The “mufti” uniform symbolises not only a uniform, but similarity as well. You are or have been just like one of these women at some stage of your life.


We start in a school yard, with the tallest and 'prettiest' of the four balancing a tightrope. She's graceful, however there is tension and an icky feeling in the air as the audience are left to stare at her for more than 6 minutes. Lolita is the first of the five to blossom into a young woman after she returns from school holidays full breasts. The world immediately begins to sexualise her, long before she feels those urges herself. She comes under attack, predictably, by the other females and as a result of this open obsession,she discovers a deep and detrimental shame, and attaches it firmly to her sexual nature.


It's truthful and cruel that Lolita exists, and director Rachel Baring has varsley painted a perfect scene of this atmosphere for Lolita and the three players. The movement is subtle and effective in the bare open space. The four perfectly measured actors voices all echoe in the dark concrete room and send shivers down your spine every time they glare, give you a look of unwanted sexual desire, and then madly dash around the space painting the walls with childish hearts and rainbows, Later to graffiti of hurtful words such as bitch, whore, slag and more appear in a rage. Again, any woman would be lying if she said she had never witnessed this growing up in any Australian school. Lolita pursues that gaze with a frightful ferocity, quickly learning that her worth resides in her ability to be objectified in any matter from puberty onwards.


The absence of parental figures is also a glaring omission that is never explained. If our young are left in the wild to fend for themselves, we can all agree that the sexual health and education department in any school is lacking information and knowledge for how young women can safely care and support one another in today's society. Slut talks about the way our girls cause harm to one another, but it is our guidance that should be questioned, especially in the time of #METOO. Where have our voices been heard? Or are we still silently shaming other women or too scared to speak up for ourselves?


Cornelius writes in her typical poetic, rhythmic style, with dialogue directed straight to the audience. It’s addictive with underlying composition that is blunt and beauty moulded as one. The message is blunt and it’s all about women's sexuality. Why are some women considered sluts and others saints? The lack of male voices and presence is varsly neglected in this piece, all except for a cinematic scene that the three players set so well. The audience knows exactly what is happening behind that closed door with the men lined up outside. It leaves you wanting to vomit. You feel guilty because it’s the truth smacking you in the face.


This behaviour is still happening in Australia every week. Excusing bad behaviour for much wanted attention. When will our voices be loud enough to be heard and put a stop to it.


Images Supplied


All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.

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