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Almanac 2016: Betty Grumble (Sydney, Australia)

Almanac 2016: Betty Grumble (Sydney, Australia)

Grumble: Sex Clown Saves The World
Meet Betty Grumble, surreal showgirl and sex clown. She has one hour to save the world. This is your invitation to the event horizon as we go unashamedly into a burlesquing cabaret of deep disco dissent. Bring your grin’ cause if it wasn’t so serious she wouldn’t be laughing so hard. This is a cross platform performance piece titled GRUMBLE: Sex Clown Saves the World. Born from creating work that traverses both nightclub and traditional theatre space this one hour show successfully infiltrates a cabaret/fringe environment whilst employing queer performance tactics to simultaneously celebrate and challenge the woman body as a site for reflection on the human condition. Continuing the research done in the nightclub space, the artist unpacks the mask construction of drag alter-egos as sacred satirical spectacle. This is an ecosexual gesture and womanly reveal. The work aligns the destruction of the woman body with the destruction of the Earth body. Inviting the challenge to ‘save the world’ in one hour. GRUMBLE weaves stories of rage, desire, hope and humour among energetic eruptions of song, dance, sensation and internal organs. Part protest, part party. Are you Betty to Grumble?

Production History:
The Garden of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide Fringe 2016 // Day for Night, Performance Space 2015


Artistic Statement:
Betty Grumble is an obscene beauty queen, surreal showgirl and sex clown. Grumble’s performances promise to both titillate and terrify, a full glitz monster she lives and breathes by ‘beauty’ offering forth assumptions about the woman body that violently unravel in a flurry of fierceness, fluids and flesh. Through performance and study both in Australia and internationally she has been engaging with the woman body as a political site. With a BA from UNSW (HONS, MFA Performance Studies) and a recent Stephen Cummins Queer Artist Bequest, Emma Maye’s performative landscape straddles both nightclub/cabaret and theatre/gallery spaces. Notable performances and training include: Day for Night (Performance Space); Siti Company (New York); Block 9(Glastonbury); The Box (London); Pretty Peepers Cabaret (Melbourne, Alice Springs and Perth Fringes); Minge World (Perth Fringe); Best of the Fest (Edinburgh Fringe); Mardi Gras (Sydney)ArtBar (MCA); La Traviata (BELVOIR) and an ongoing curatorial role at Sydney’s infamous Tokyo Sing Song. Grumble is a world-renowned master of grotesque storytelling and angry woman. She is dedicated to developing dynamic live arts that infamously infect spectators in an unshaming, unadulterated burlesquing dance. She is working towards an eco sexual feminism and wants to save the world. Love & Anger xxx






Photo by: Rachel Mia

This post is part of a series of profiles on performance and performance makers from this year’s book, Contemporary Performance Almanac 2016, an overview of contemporary performance presented during the 2014/2015 season available for touring now. If you would like to be apart of next year’s book, Contemporary Performance Almanac 2017, you can join the project here. 


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Caden Manson is Editor In Chief and Curator of Contemporary Performance Network and co-founder and artistic director of Big Art Group, a New York City performance company founded in 1999.

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