How does it feel to see a person with breasts and a penis? What do male and female even mean? Is there an in-between or is there every shade? How do you adress the more uncommon shades? And isn’t it wrong to make them a show for the mainstream, who will goggle at the seemingly ‘mismatched’ body parts of strangers? I cannot answer these questions. I can only say that the first travesty show I saw was about a lot more than just breasts+penis and, at the same time, a lot more light-hearted than any meticulous gender debate.
I am standing on Reeperbahn on a Sunday night, waiting for my friends to arrive. I am wearing a short skirt, which, let’s face it, was probably not such a good idea: Every passing stranger looks me up and down as if I might somehow belong to a local establishment. Bloody tourists! Note to self: Never stand alone in skirt on Reeperbahn.
My friend Irina brings two boys with her – perfect, now it looks like the stereotypical couple night. The entry fee at Pulverfass Cabaret is just below 20 euros on Sundays, but there’s another twenty quid per person which you have to spend on drinks, first order. Yes, I think this is way over the top. And sadly not impossible, as the prices are that high – a coke is 9 euros, a cocktail is 16. Wow. But I guess this is an experience for a lifetime. We are led into the heavily decorated main room by ‘drag granny’, as our friend J. charmingly calls her behind her back. Now, now. He’ll pay for that one later, I promise him.
And so he does. After a delightful alternation of stand-up comedy, song, dance, art and unexpected nakedness (if #BieberWeiner surprised you last week, I can promise you: this is harder!), die Tante aus Alicante takes the stage and picks – yes, our friend J., to accompany her! Admittedly, it was us who won him the cheering contest against two other ‘applicants’. Let’s say that by the end of it, he is well-acquainted with his new lady friend and we’re almost on the floor. Generally, you can trust those ladies that they will involve their audience. They will make you laugh like mad and at the same time secretly sink into your chair, awkwardly hiding behind your friends so the next joke won’t be on you. In the end, they’re harmless of course!
The show is fun. Of course, the humour is quite slapstick, so if you’re looking for intelligent, indie comedy, you’re wrong at Pulverfass. If you can live with a certain amount of embarassement and like to call a spade a spade, you’re good. My first travesty show made me breathless with laughter; it also surprised and fascinated me. I still wonder what it is like for men…? Seeing a ‘girl’ who undresses to reveal something else? It’s a mystery! If I had to name one thing that I felt was slightly out of place though, it would be the male strippers. I’m not sure how that strict manliness fits in with the colourful, diverse, extravagant bouquet that is travesty (am I discriminating now?).
All in all, would I recommend to see a show at Pulverfass Cabaret? Well, yes. Simply because it is a unique experience. The drink prices are – there is no denying it – indecent, but the girls are so awesome, they kind of make up for it.
Have you ever been to a travesty show?