Words: Caitlin Finnerty
Body Show by Frankie Thompson and Liv Ello delivers an intriguing blend of performance art, spoken word and comedy that delves into themes surrounding body image, societal constructs, and identity exploration.
The duo use doll-like acting and lip-syncing to juxtapose the eerie plasticity of Barbie and Ken with real-world concerns. Thompson and Ello seamlessly shift between characters like the Ballerina and Cowboy, while delving into issues like consumerism, patriarchy, and depression. Despite occasional moments of disjointedness, the performance maintains a unique quality that reflects the creators’ artistic vision.
The incorporation of voiceovers, projections, and rapid scene changes adds an experimental layer to the show, allowing for a multifaceted examination of important issues like consumerism and depression. The inclusion of spoken word elements and breaking the fourth wall enhances engagement and provides deeper insights into the performers’ intentions. The show’s conclusion, as Thompson and Ello return to their “Barbie and Ken” boxes, evokes contemplation about conformity and societal pressures, leaving the audience with lingering thoughts.
Body Show presents an artistic endeavour that tackles complex subjects, and while its execution may occasionally waver, its underlying authenticity and thought-provoking nature make it a performance worth experiencing.
Frankie Thompson and Liv Ello: Body Show
Pleasance Courtyard, Beneath