Ditsy, drunk, blonde and half dressed. Adrienne Truscott talks about rape, rapists and saying no through awkward jokes and a bit of real talk. She asks, “If someone makes a joke about rape and no one laughs, is it really a joke?”
Let’s get this out of the way early, you’re going to feel uncomfortable at this show. It might be from hearing Adrienne Truscott carelessly repeating that her character “got fucked by the whole bar” after a case of G&T’s. Or it might be the guy to the side that woo’d a little too loudly at that part of the joke. But don’t worry, he’ll leave when the Bill Cosby material gets rolled out.
You’re also going to laugh. The main difference between the laughs of the sexists in the room who booked because they saw “rape comedy” in the title, and the curious patrons who know the difference between yes and no, is timing.
You can feel the tension in the moments of lull, when a hoot comes from the back as Truscott dishes out the statistic that (based on numbers) there should be a rapist in the room. Thankfully the gaps of silence become clearer as the material solidifies the message. Or maybe it’s just the 20-something men that have walked out of the theatre.
If something isn’t making sense about consent, there’s a simple reference. “When I say, ‘do you want some milk in your coffee?’ I want you to say ‘No.’” She pours the milk anyway and states, “Oh my god, isn’t that rude!”
Truscott unpacks rape culture and shows us just how absurd it is by being absurd. Her jokes are strategically timed, giving us a moment to reflect on reality for long enough to realise, but briefly enough to remain entertained. Her nudity demonstrates that acting provocatively and “asking for it” are different things, best exemplified when she rheotircally asks the audience “I bet you’re wondering how the show will end. Am I going to get raped?”.
The performance is equal parts entertaining and eye opening, and successfully achieves its purpose of shamelessly discussing rape culture. It’s confronting, but it needs to be. Truscott has built a strong platform for providing entertainment, and starting some important post-show discussions.
Adrienne Truscott’s Asking For It was performed at the Corona Theatre in the Garden of Unearthly Delights on Wednesday, March 8 2017.