Theatre preview: Barely Visible

Issues faced by queer women are explored in powerful solo theatre show’s UK tour which arrives at Blackpool’s newest theatre space, the Old Electric, this month.

Acclaimed Liverpool performance artist Rowena Gander will shine a spotlight on issues that queer women face on a daily basis in Barely Visible on 24th February. It’s an empowering physical performance that explores sexualisation, (fe)male gaze and what it really feels like to live in the shadows. Watch the trailer below.

With incredible strength, a 100-kilo vertical pole, and a lot of humour, this powerful solo performance covers identity, objectification and what it is to be a gay, ‘barely visible’ woman in a raw and physical journey of empowerment. 

The show incorporates elements of physical theatre, pole and contemporary dance with Gander and acclaimed physical theatre director Elinor Randle bringing playfulness, authenticity, and boldness to a mesmerising work.

The artist discusses the piece in the video below, highlighting that it questions how men treat and perceive gay women. “You don’t look gay,” is one response she says she regularly gets.

It’s a pertinent issue in Blackpool, where women have been recording their experiences of sexual harassment on an interactive map. Reclaim Blackpool are keen for gay women to share their experiences, which have some unique and worrying themes.

“It never fails to be shocking that men can’t grasp that women who are gay are so far away from their reach that the first thing they go to is to use sexual language towards you,” says Aishley in a featured story on the website. “The instant that they know you’re not interested in them – that you’re gay or you’re married – you’re an unobtainable thing. A challenge.

In another report by a 39-year-old gay woman described her experience.
“Upon walking into a bar a group of men thought it was appropriate to comment on me and my partner sexually. They made explicit jokes ‘you just need a good ****’ not in a funny way that can be passed off – it was aggressive. It felt like if we didn’t leave we would get hurt.”

To share your story on Reclaim Blackpool’s map click here.

Barely Visible is at the Old Electric theatre at 7pm on Friday 24 February. The show will last around 60-minutes with no interval. It is most suitable for ages 13+ women. Tickets are priced at £7 and can be booked online at www.theoldelectric.co.uk or bought in cash by visiting the venue.

Reclaim Blackpool - Mapping Sexual Harrasment
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