Lessons from RAUNCH

Jacqueline Russell in RAUNCH

Lesson of the day: When you are performing in a show called RAUNCH, and you go to google your show to check on press reviews and general buzz, you need to choose the words you enter into the search engine VERY CAREFULLY. Otherwise you get to experience the antithesis of your show with stark pulsating pornographic images that only the World Wide Web can offer.

I suspect this experience is similar to what a few of our audience members experience when they turn up to see a show called RAUNCH with expectations of hot girls making out and instead get an educational/entertaining show based on a book by feminist author Ariel Levy. Fortunately even the unsuspecting have seemed to enjoy our outrageous antics and wild humour and leave with a grin on their face and perhaps a little food for thought…

However, Lesson of the day Number 2: is, don’t judge an audience member on their familiarity with the topic. I have been constantly amazed by the diversity of our audience members and their unlikely interest in the topic of “raunch culture.” We have had teenagers, seniors, men, women, girls dressed in mini skirts, dudes with dreadlocks, moms with toddlers at home, dads with teenaged daughters and even a 75 year old couple all enjoy our show immensely.  This confirms for me that “raunch culture” (and especially the sexualization of young girls and women) is an area that affects everyone in our society on some level.

What also confirms this theory is the fact that I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t have something to say about “raunch culture.” The far-reaching influence of the mass media machine ensures that everyone has at least brushed arms with some element of “raunch culture” (if you listen to the radio even a little you have probably heard the lyrics “my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard”). And while the universality of “raunch culture” is quite frightening, it is also heartening because a dialogue about it is something everyone can participate in- (which is the whole reason Alice and I wrote RAUNCH in the first place- to initiate dialogue.)

Out of all of the reviews we have received so far my favorite comment has been from an Edmonton Fringe Reviewer who said: “The play truly begins when you start thinking about it afterwards”. Wow. I can’t think of a nicer compliment for a theatre artist than the knowledge that something they created has incited further thought and discussion.

To see the full review please click on the link below:

http://www.seemagazine.com/edmonton-blogs/Go-Fest-Yourself/2010/08/15/fringe-review-raunch-145/

In fact our show has been very well received at the Edmonton Fringe, selling out nearly every show and being held over for two additional shows. Alice and I are having a blast performing the show, but I have to admit that my favorite thing has been getting to chat about it with audience members afterwards. I can’t wait to arrive in Winnipeg for FemFest and participate in a dialogue there too!

For more information about RAUNCH: The rise of the “Female Chauvinist Pigs” check out:

http://vueweekly.com/fringe/play/p_raunch_the_rise_of_female_chauvinist_pigs/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zuq65O5hQ_4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSfcG8B4kaE

Jacqueline Russell

Co-creator and performer,

RAUNCH “The Rise of the Female Chauvinist Pigs”

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1 Comment

  1. […] What lessons has RAUNCH’s Jaqueline Russell learned while touring the show? […]


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