Last night I went to see F*** YOU! YOU f***ING PERV! Created and performed by Leslie Baker, with Joseph Shragge’s powerful text, a swelling sound score by META award winner Peter Cerone, meticulous lighting design by Howard Mendelsohn and sharp stage management by Kate Hagemeyer. This attack on the senses is a nightmarish journey through the mind and experience of a blue haired character who is the victim of sexual predation. Far from what most people would describe as ‘a pleasant night at the theatre’, this piece grasped perfectly effective ways to bring me into a world I have not, luckily, had the opportunity to experienced but one that, I believe, we should all try to understand – the world of abuse.
Struggling between being continuously pursued by a dangerous and disturbed human being and fighting misdiagnosis as well as mental illness prejudice and a lack of committed services, I rode through a tunnel of darkness. Filled with tap-dancing, spoken word, cacophony of sounds/voice overs and a good bundle of rage, this show leaves the audience with just enough room to interpret facts (which is something that I always appreciate) and it doesn’t preach or attack. It puts you one on one with another human being’s inner struggle and the fear they live in every day. We rarely think how close we could have come to things that did not happen to us. All the while others suffer every day with what they did come too close to.
F*** YOU! YOU F***ING PERV! doesn’t have you bouncing out of the theatre smiling. It is a show which helped me feel the importance of comradery and empathy as a human. I believe we innately understand each other but we also often give into fearing the ‘other’ which is societally more profitable to advertise and encourage. We have the tools to fight ignorance whether the subject be mental illness, religion, culture, personality, background etc, and a show such as this one can help us along.
Hurts upon one another cannot be erased and cannot be prevented because they live in fleeting moments but… well, I am searching for a solution like I’m sure many of you are too. As long as we continue to encourage the exchange of information and conversation in order to share the pain we help lessen it as a collective.
I was so happy to be able to Superpass it this year and congratulations to all the companies for a very enjoyable festival.