Love Letters to Fuckbois and other Woes of Wayward Women is a mouthful to say aloud and is just as challenging onstage. The work is a casual approach to the topic of love and dating with the two performers congregating with their audience at the Lucky Duck Café. Appropriately metres away from the bar the show opens with a gentle, lighthearted greeting from the two women, Lia Stark and Melina Wightman, who have experience in the contemporary world of dating, or more specifically Tinder, fuckbois, sex, and all the miscommunication and awkward interactions in between.
The two women stand in their sexy nighties and dressing gowns to bare their souls to an audience encouraged to heckle and play along with drinking games. Mel and Lia are determined to grab our attention and win us over with brutal (and hilarious) honesty, vulnerability, and countless breaks from script to keep the work genuine and engaging. They definitely succeed in grabbing our attention, and with each of the letters they read aloud from a fish bowl of despair and self-discovery the girls not only win us over but also make it impossible not to erupt with laughter at the uncomfortable yet relatable perspectives and topics.
While the show does not necessarily have a narrative as such, there is definitely a journey to be shared between performers and audience alike. The two women stand before their audience like stand up comedians, ready to share a mixture of personal letters to fuckbois, friends, family members and themselves. With 30 minutes of randomised letter material it is clear that each show’s selections, and therefore general atmosphere, will be different from night to night. Regardless of the letters’ specifics, the content carries bitterness, heartbreak, lust, longing, hope, hatred and 50 shades of confusion.
The girls link each letter with sex-positive feminism, body ownership and all round female empowerment. The women point out the despicable nature of fuckbois and the many forms they can take, including women in an insightful twist. From men who use women for sex, social media personalities, worrying wing-women, and horrifying family encounters the girls cover a lot in their hour and a half show.
Possibly most impressive of all, the women encourage their audiences each night to contribute their own love letters to fuckbois for the future development and expansion of their show and its range of material. After 30 minutes of randomised letter reading, the two women leave us briefly for a ten minute intermission, only to re-emerge in classic op shop wedding dresses. From there they cover issues of a single woman’s dating future, society’s strangle-hold on the “need” to marry, and the juxtaposition between the emotional, confusing and often heartbreaking past and unpredictable future of a woman in the dating world. These moments are honest, insightful and uplifting for the most part. Each anecdote is peppered with bittersweet realities, always delivered with genuine belief and hilarious commentary. The most powerful of all were the two women’s letters to themselves, delivered with outstanding fire and heartbreaking vulnerability. With these letters, Mel and Lia brought their piece to a beautiful climax that erupted in a response of personal connection and powerful admiration from the audience.
With the evident promise of further development with more letters and undoubtedly more laughs, I embrace the future of Love Letters to Fuckbois and all of its powerful possibilities.
– Written by Rhumer Diball May 8th 2016.
LOVE LETTERS TO FUCKBOIS AND OTHER WOES OF WAYWARD WOMEN PRESENTED BY ANYWHERE FESTIVAL.
SAT 7th – THURS 19th MAY 2016.
Originally Published for Anywhere Festival.