Slap and Tickle smashes through all the taboos associated with growing old and being sexy. Commenting on the associations surrounding women of all ages and the effect they have on our daily lives, Liz Aggiss’ latest work is empowering, liberating and moving.
‘Oh, come on everybody. Let’s have a party’. Aggiss beautifully choreographs a unique and challenging piece of theatre in Slap and Tickle. Her extreme facial expressions and movements help guide us through the ages of womanhood ‘princess, wet bitch, yummy mummies, pissy old ladies’ (delete where appropriate). Aggiss claims each of these titles and then destroys them, owning her own title as the sexiest women in that room. She comments on the social structures of how women should behave, drawing on her own childhood experience and observations of the modern day – and, in doing so, creates an enthralling and thought-provoking performance.
Aggiss really makes this a party by engaging her audience in childhood party games (pass the parcel, hide a seek and squeezing the shit out of long balloons). You are immersed in a fun and erotic interaction; who knew children’s party games could be so dirty!? Like everything in this show, we have to be on our guard. Nothing is as it seems.
Beneath the surface of its ‘party’, Slap and Tickle does have its dark undertones. The performance addresses some real problematic stereotypes surrounding women. Liz creates striking images to bring these issues to the forefront of her performance, like dropping pennies out of her vagina or transforming her pants into a dishcloth. A powerful representation of the desexualisation of women and our lack of empowerment in the bedroom. Liz does not hold back in challenging our perceptions on both motherhood and old age. Often referring to herself as an old mare, she transforms into a half-horse, half-woman figure onstage embracing this latest stigmatism.
This performance guides us through the different stigmas attached to the aging female body and its representation within society. Liz Aggiss is a truly empowering woman encouraging everyone to go down the strand of a banana, and she’s got me on board.