Queen C**t at The Poly: Definitely Profane, but all the more Sacred

Written by Amber Jackson |

The Poly Theatre in Falmouth is notorious for bringing us eccentric art and theatre. This became even more apparent when the travelling show, Queen C**t: Sacred or Profane?  was performed there on 9thFebruary.

Photos: Tilly May

This show has cultivated some backlash, with one man in Penzance, telling Cornwall Live, that he would rather “walk on hot coals” than see this show. I feel as though people may think that the Cornish have a reputation for being old-fashioned and not the most progressive when it comes to sexual conversation. Sitting in that auditorium, it quickly became clear that Cornwall loves a good sex joke just as much as the next county.

Salacious, scandalous and satirical, Queen C**t explores what it means to have ownership over your own body, whilst reminding us that politics is still persecuting people with vaginas.

Created, written, and performed by Deborah Ward and China Fish, these two incredible performers wanted to create a show that would spark empowerment. During the post-show Q&A, both creators of the show said that they do not feel entirely free to behave as themselves, fearing that society would demonise them for it. So, they decided to create a show that would help them to feel great about their bodies and help others feel good about themselves too. Salacious, scandalous and satirical, Queen C**t explores what it means to have ownership over your own body, whilst reminding us that politics is still persecuting people with vaginas.

Watching the show was amazing. I’ve never seen a group of people – including myself – laugh so hard, consistently, throughout a performance. Both performers were farcical with their impressions, creating exaggerated characters of their own to prove a point. Whilst also taking characters from the real world, such as Theresa May and Mike Buchanan (Leader of the Justice for Men and Boys Party), and turning them into satirical sensations. The whole piece was outrageous and both Fish and Ward demonstrated their writing talents with incredible vocal impressions, mannerisms, and movements.

The performance addressed themes such as body positivity, sexual assault, the existence of the clitoris, and the social construct of virginity. Subjects which resonate our generation of students. Many of us would have had very little to almost no sex education at school and those that had it were still unfortunate in the sense that little of it was sex-positive. There was and still is a complete and utter lack in education regarding homosexuality and Intersectional feminism. 

However, in the past decade, as a society, we are being increasingly exposed to more taboo subjects in a casual and normalised environment. And rightfully so. A lot of us may have felt – or still feel – shame about our genitalia, our bodies in general, our sexualities, or the way that we have sex. These doubts, shames, and worries were dispelled in Queen C**t. Fish and Ward proudly proclaim, through this performance, that ‘Hey! We have bodies, and so do you! And that is more than ok!’

Photo: Tilly May

These doubts, shames and worries were dispelled in Queen C**t. Fish and Ward proudly proclaim that ‘Hey! We have bodies, and so do you! And that is more than ok!’

Audience members were invited to stay for a Q&A session hosted by Honey Feminist Collective Falmouth. This group is an intersectional platform for creative women and femme-identifying individuals in Falmouth, who want to create a safe space for themselves and each other. It was great to see this kind of intersection between a student collective such as this with The Poly, as it promotes that the community is enthusiastically working to make Falmouth more inclusive.

During the Q&A session, an audience member made some insensitive comments about gender identity, but this change in tone was immediately salvaged by Fish, who claimed that she did not like the question and refused to “boil people down to genitalia.” She stressed the intersectional importance of her and Ward’s work, which was certainty the case throughout the show, where they used inclusive language. 

Fish emphasised that the aim of their performance was about the “c**t” and how they wanted to take away the fear of the word and normalise it within the show. The shamelessness of their language and the comfortability with their bodies signified a pushback against a binary society that we could all do well to move past.Ultimately, this show strives to have us be bold, whilst unforgiving to bullsh*t. A good take away for us all.

Ultimately, this show strives to have us be bold, whilst unforgiving to bullsh*t. A good take away for us all. 

And the “hot coals” guy? 

Turns out, he did go and see the show in Penzance – and absolutely loved it.

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