Fuck You! You Fucking Perv!


by Kristin Skye Hoffmann · August 21, 2014


A little girl and a pedophile are walking through the forest. The little girl looks up and says ‘Gee, mister. I’m scared.’ ‘You think you’re scared?’ he replies, ‘I have to walk out of here ALONE.’

Have you heard that one before? Did it make you chuckle through a groan? Do you automatically separate the gravity of what the truth of a horrific scenario like this would be with the intention of the joke being told? That’s what most of us do and in Fuck You! You Fucking Perv! creator/performer Leslie Baker wants you to recognize the darkness and horror of the premature sexualization of children, and she goes to great lengths to accomplish this.

Baker and quite of few of her creative team have worked directly with Robert Wilson who, if you are familiar with his work, is known for creating non-traditional, often uncomfortable, performance art that sticks with an audience for some time. Baker has risen to this occasion using heightened corporal expression with image, sound and text to make her point.

Red-faced, green-glassy-eyed and sporting bright blue Shirley Temple curls in an ill-fitting house dress, Baker holds us captive. The performance is in the intimate space at 64E4 Underground Theatre, and there is no escaping the sensory overload that Baker plans for her audience. Often you can smell her sweat. She limits her performance to a small white square around which she literally tap dances. As she dances to a variety of tunes including G-Love and Special Sauce and The Andrews Sisters’ “Accentuate the Positive” she casually delivers a series of pedophile jokes, including the little gem I listed above.

Keeping true to the schizophrenic persona Baker has created, the lighting design by Tim Rodrigues always keeps us guessing. Full blackouts mask her as she moves unpredictably around the stage. When the bright lights rise we never know where she’ll be or what she’ll be doing: sometimes screaming, sometimes sitting quietly at the children’s table that is her lone set piece. I began to dread where she was going to be next. With the help of a vaguely represented stage hand, props are moved in and out of the space, tying her, binding her, delivering more strange elements into her world. I would have liked the stage hand’s role to be more defined.

All this madness is set to Peter-Cerone and Sam Wylie’s brilliantly upsetting sound design. Eardrum-piercing amp feedback, chainsaws, lawnmowers, glass repeatedly shattering and a super annoying yapping dog on a loop remind the audience what it feels like to be held captive in a cycle of madness. Baker is representing a victim. A human who has been held captive, either in her own mind or literally is difficult to tell, but we certainly get the sense of what it must be like to be trapped in one’s own mind.

This is a truly effective piece that is daring, unapologetic and truly unpleasant. It isn’t a show for everyone but it is an unforgettable experience and perhaps the Fringiest show in the festival this year.

 

 

 

 

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