After hearing about the reception Working On My Night Moves received at the Fringe this year, I thought it time I checked out Zanetti Productions work. Their previous Fringe show Power Ballad was being performed at the Tron and this was a prime opportunity to witness some improv-noise, stand-up and feminist lecture combined, which has varied reactions and a whole plethora of emotive responses.
The play opens with performer Julia Croft seductively moving across the stage to Patti Smith’s music, suggestive of the way female musicians sell their talent to an audience. This soon transitioned to form the basis of a lecture, with a focus on language and power structures at the core. The live art investigation of language and its often hidden ideologies is provocative and opens the door for contemplation.
The sheer venom that goes into her “feminist theatre” is indicative of the stigma that surrounds it. With much laugh-out-loud moments, the performance highlights the awkwardness and almost nervy feeling that people have surrounding these ideologies.
With an 80s soundtrack to rival any school disco, Power Ballad is anarchic, loud and filled with feminist rage. However, those moments where karaoke is performed or hinted at with these retro classics including Annie Lennox’s No More I Love You’s, the performance seems to lose my interest. With the power behind the show ingrained in the language and structure, the karaoke sections seem a little too tongue-in-cheek to the point it loses the audience somewhat.
Julia’s decadent and unruly performance is titilating, giving it her all. After the Fringe run that is pretty impressive. The lighting, the simplicity of the show, there is much to admire. And the premise of deconstructing language and meaning is fantastic, more of that please. Power Ballad is worth the time, should you enjoy feminist theatre.
Power Ballad runs at The Tron until 14th September 2019.