“Who else is menstruating? We can be blood sisters tonight.” Lily Phillips is without her fellow Darlings tonight, but she doesn’t need them – Lady Power has an audience of willing supporters. It’s feminist and frank, all about vaginas and the freedom to scratch your minge in public. We hold up signs that describe our bushes (even the men) and tick them off bingo-style. This is the show’s opening. Phillips has us hooked.
Lady Power has a musical comedy reminiscent of Tamar Broadbent, songs that are true to life as well as being positive, affirming and sending out a left-wing message. Her voice holds the tune well and has a knack for engaging with the audience to the point that we subconsciously dance along to each song. The beats are catchy, the choruses stick in your hard like earworms, or placard slogans:
“Itchy Witchy Bitchy Twitchy Mingy Moo”
“Say No To Anal”
It’s easy to see why a show like this does well at a progressive location like the Edinburgh Fringe – Phillips is preaching to the converted. With one exception… the moon cup. But salesperson Phillips is determined to convert us, despite not being on the payroll. She does however appear in a jingle for the company after they saw her show. This song (as well as others) sounds deceptively like an advertising campaign from the 90s – upbeat, personable and a little bit too close to a QVC presenter for comfort.
But Lady Power counters the cheesy messaging with honest anger and frustration at the state of the nation. The Tampon tax can be combated by using Jaffa Cakes (which are considered a non-luxury item). Phillips has amusing solutions to a whole host of problems and keeps the show moving with humorous observations, such as the difficulty of having too much suction in your cup. Careful when you remove it ladies, a Jackson Pollock menstrual splatter is not how you want to decorate your walls.
There are times when this show is clearly missing a partner (how dare she have a baby, selfish thing). The backing track compensates with vocal harmonies, but it sounds like karaoke, or a holiday camp performance. Phillips does not need this to keep her show moving and at all other times has no problem handling the crowd on her own. Perhaps a punchier opening would instil the confidence to break away and truly go solo. In the end though, Lady Power is an ingenious show that light-heartedly treads across some dicey subjects without ever incensing or losing the audience.
Lil Darling’s Lady Power plays The Voodoo Rooms as part of PBH’s Free Fringe until 16 August 2017. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.