Serena Flynn @ Heroes, Black Medicine

Uncomfortable but absorbing viewing of a wilfully ugly clowning confession

Review by Charlie Ralph | 19 Aug 2019
  • Serena Flynn

Serena Flynn spends the first ten minutes of her show weeding out the undesirables. For her, undesirable means anyone not willing to join her on a demented ride through aggressive physical absurdity. She does this through donning an oversized wig and bodysuit, wailing as she drags herself through the audience. It is an arresting opening that defines the show as not for the faint of heart, and leads to a much more structured, thoughtful and thematically intense show than one might expect.

Delving into personal matters that the performer politely requests are not discussed outside the show, Baubo Goddess of Filth is not a show that pulls any punches on the confessional front. These tell-all hours at the Fringe require a sense of both innovation and honesty alongside a willingness for the performer to paint themselves in an unflattering light and Flynn does that here, frankly confronting the motivations which led her to the events of the show.

What is most surprising is that the show can be both an exploration of depravity whilst being remarkably tender. Through this performance, Flynn connects with her audience and reveals herself as a deeply empathic performer. There are some truly hilarious moments alongside the strong narrative of the show as well as a true commitment to unflattering costume design. Baubo Goddess of Filth is not an easy watch, first because of its intentional alienation and then because of the discomfort of its story, but it is also a powerful, playful and witty hour of confessional absurdist storytelling.

Serena Flynn: Baubo Goddess of FilthHeroes @ Black Medicine (Basement), until 25 Aug, 10.45pm, £5/PWYW