There’s a lot of glitter involved in Femme Brutal, a German queer-lesbian burlesque show, as well as healthy amounts of fake blood, powder, clingfilm, and assorted vegetables. It’s messy business, and it’s glorious.

Aggressive but joyful, hilarious yet consciously political, the bodily and sexually diverse troupe is captured brilliantly by documentarians Liesa Kovacs and Nick Prokesch. Performers speak with wit and sensitivity about their experiences and devotion to reclaiming female, lesbian and queer sexuality.

Reinventing the audience’s role in burlesque, asking them to appreciate the performers’ experience and gratification as much as their own, Femme Brutal is powerful and important.

Femme Brutal is artistic without caring if it is art. It joyfully insists on consensual, excitable, aggressive, individual sexuality as something above reproach, and deserves an audience with an open mind.

RATING: 4/5


INFORMATION

CAST: Nora Safranek, Stefanie Sourial, Moira Hille, Sabine Marte, Denise Kottlett, Denice Bourbon, Katrina Daschner

DIRECTORS: Liesa Kovacs, Nick Prokesch

WRITERS: Liesa Kovacs, Nick Prokesch

SYNOPSIS: Liesa Kovacs and Nick Prokesch talk to members of the German lesbian-queer burlesque troupe Femme Brutal about the roles of autonomy, performance, gender, image and confidence in their work, and capture the free, diverse and experimental space of the Femme Brutal stage.