Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Last year, Dandy Darkly racked up a hellish body count in his Gory Hole, a series of horror stories that climaxed in a veritable massacre of hypocrites. After a twelve-month refractory period, he’s back at the Festival and his bloodlust is unquenched.

As show time approaches, the Dandy peacocks through the bar of CC Bloom’s, every inch the 21st century regency fop, except…. As befits his name, his dress is more refined and his frippery disguises a certain seriousness. A connoisseur of horror and the LGBTQ scene, Dandy Darkly is familiar with treatment women can receive within the genre and the scene, as well as patriarchal society more generally. In Pussy Panic, he’s tempting the clientele down to the basement performance space to examine those imbalances.

The night starts, pedal to the metal, with Little Sally And Her Big Pussy. It’s a fantastical tale of a young kleptomaniac that in its ten-minute running time manages to incorporate observations on the pro-choice debate, the military-industrial complex and the terrors of straight white male America. The Blood Mother And The Scarecrow King’s black magic rites slip through musings on disposable pop culture and all sorts of cultural appropriation. Dandy’s voguing and zombie dancing leave the audience in no doubt that this story also has its roots in our world.

Before the story of Mister Timothy And America’s Sweetheart turns the Dandy’s scalpel on the misogyny of a mincing mortician, the emotional heart of the show is the sweet story of an aging Rosie The Riveter type and the similarly geriatric witch who loves her.

Dandy Darkly’s Pussy Panic is a serious-minded show steeped in cattiness, absurdity and gore. In stitching together a night of overarching themes, Dandy Darkly and his musical collaborators Adam Tendler, Rachel Blumberg and Bryce Edwards have upped their game. This year’s show includes drum-driven sissy-rap, sweetly evocative carnival romances, a newly-refined costume, and a sympathetic venue.

Whatever you do, do go down to the cellar.

Dandy Darkly’s Pussy Panic is part of PBH’s Free Fringe at CC Blooms (Venue 171), 18:45, Aug 11-12 and 14-24

Submitted by Ricky Brown

2014DANDYDA_ACM