During the opening number of Cutting Loose, a tribute to the town of Geelong, Lucy Horan describes herself as a big fish in a small pond. This description seems quite apt, as the show progresses the audience is treated to a highly entertaining hour of feminism laced musical numbers – and there always is, always will be, funny fart jokes.
The energy within the performance space at The Butterfly Club is a casual one upon entry, a relaxed vibe emanating throughout the audience. While the appearance of Horan and the beginning of the show doesn’t quite bring about the energy of a cabaret act, there is most definitely a rustle of energy amongst the crowd as the night progresses.
Numerous songs help to navigate the direction of the show, almost as an intermission between Horan’s easy banter with the crowd (unsurprisingly with her history of improvisation, some of the more funnier moments of the nights come from responses to comments from the crowd). While the show begins with an almost touching musical tribute to the ever popular town of Geelong – other performances lean heavily onto the themes of feminism and Horan’s desire to fit in and be seen as almost complacent – something that many women in the crowd most likely found themselves nodding along with.
Interestingly, and quite cleverly done, the entirety of the show appears to revolve around Horan’s need to define herself. Is she a wife? A very polite and nice woman? Or a feminist that will speak her mind? While the concept of being a bad feminist is not a new one, Horan explores that idea from numerous angles, bringing a new set of opinions and thoughts to the concept.
While Horan does have a fantastic voice, and a seemingly natural comedic charm – it would be lacking to not pay respects to her accompanying pianist Rainer Pollard. Pollard keeps up with Horan’s banter in the same relaxed tone, joining into her conversations with a witty remark or just a piano tune. Cutting Loose would not be quite the same without Pollard’s involvement on the stage.
While Cutting Loose isn’t exactly a groundbreaking performance on feminism, that’s okay. It doesn’t need to be, it is simply one woman’s exploration of what the idea of feminism means to her and whether her perceived notions of the word match up to what she believes she represents. It is a concept that many women have most likely discussed with themselves before and is equally refreshing to see played out on stage in large doses of comedy and catchy songs.
Cutting Loose is being performed at The Butterfly Club from 19th November to the 24th November.