The debut cabaret from Adelaide-based performer Millicent Sarre educates and entertains on the subject of feminism with a guiding hand. The original score and personal stories invite feminists, at any level, to consider their relationship to feminism and for skeptics to look deeper at equality concerns. While it would be impossible to cover the history of this political movement in an hour performance, Millicent cleverly introduces the audience to modern intersectional feminism in a friendly way with a winning smile.
Inside Union Hall it is hard pressed to find free seats in the near packed opening night of Millicent’s first original self-produced, written and starring show. The stage is bare expect for a piano and the lighting design by tech Maddy Blenkinsop throughout the show highlights the moods from fun to somber. Millicent is accompanied by talented singer Jemma Allen who has surprising beatboxing skills.
The show’s funny, light-hearted approach to feminism begins early as Millicent talks us through feminist stereotypes in Khaki. Millicent shows an admiration to the badass angry feminists that paved the way for her to be a proud feminist. The humour continues in the next song of the show: The ABCs of Feminism. Millicent clearly articulates terms and concepts well-known in the feminist vernacular such as cisgender and privilege and she does so in rap. Her infectious enthusiasm and impressive speed make this rap enjoyable to watch and hear, rather than as cringe-worthy as ‘white girl rap’ implies.
Millicent moves through more serious topics such as consent, rape culture and toxic masculinity in music. Her wonderful voice and gentle demeanor make the serious messages easy to take home to chew on later. In the slower ballads, Millicent reflects on the current state of men’s mental health and the importance of being an ally in every day scenarios.
In the #MeToo era, the content of the show is more relevant than ever before revealing personal stories of sexual violence. Millicent tactfully provides warning to audience members of graphic descriptions of sexual violence before singing for those who may need to be mindful of their safety. The show speaks to how much work there is still to be done to undo the silencing of victims and overcome the prevalence of sexual violence today.
Friendly Feminism for the Mild Mannered demonstrates activism comes in many forms and how the privilege to be on stage can be used to promote conversation. Millicent is a wonderful performer who holds a room and her accompanying singer Jemma has the same level of star power. Their fun personalities shine and prompt the audience to join them in song and stand up to clap. The show is a call to action to be an ally in whatever way that may be and to never shy away from the privilege of having a voice.
Friendly Feminism for the Mild Mannered will be at Union Hall Saturday June 15 and Friday June 21. Tickets will likely sell out so hit the link here. Start the conversation now by bringing your friends in need of feminism to this cabaret.
Words by Chloe Cannell
WHERE: Union Hall, Victoria Drive, Adelaide