We’ve all experienced being cat-called, particularly late at night. The Flattered Collective ask: is this flattering or offensive? A theatre piece about street sexual harassment, Flattered brings real women’s experiences to light on stage. Writer, director and sound designer, Fizz Margereson, and producer, Beth Sitek, have put together an intimate and thought-provoking piece.
Flattered takes the experiences of women walking home from nights out, and in public spaces, to create an interesting piece in the round. The set is minimalistic, consisting of three chairs. From the moment we enter the venue, the audience can expect some level of immersive or interactive theatre. Indeed, the performance is delivered directly to the audience members, with the play becoming more of a conversation and the spectators very much becoming a part of the action.
The three actresses, Scarlet Simmons, Lucy Fourgs and Katy Cogswell, are strong performers. Crucially, they demonstrate a relatable vulnerability, key to a performance of this nature. They also manage not to overly victimise their characters. In light of this, the characters become every woman, we see ourselves in both their insecurities and their strengths. With a significant input on the show during the rehearsal process, all three performers are clearly passionate about the subjects discussed in this heavily collaborative piece. Stories and experiences submitted by women in an online survey also inspire Flattered. With the final version of the play being put together in roughly six days, this piece is well written and performed.
The set and staging works well for a piece as stripped back and bare as Flattered. The venue also accommodates well the kind of theatre this piece demands. While the sound is well done, perhaps Flattered would be more effective if we didn’t hear from any male voices. This is about the day-to-day experiences of women; giving a voice to harassers detracts from the heart of the piece. Still though, Flattered communicates issues surrounding sexual harassment very well. Fizz Margereson states: ‘I felt fed up of being shouted at and no one doing anything about it’. In an intimate setting, rather uncomfortable at times, Flattered is worth seeing this fringe.
Flattered looks closely at street harassment and the treatment of women, evoking necessary conversations. “We believe that we do this through storytelling and sound. These are perhaps our main weapons!”
The Last Arch Theatre, Fireside, Venue 75
3rd – 25th August (excluding Sundays)
Photo Credit: Flattered Collective