Despite being delayed two years by the pandemic, Chloe Petts presents a timely show which explores gender presentation and finding a place in the world in her debut hour, Transience.
The show is a fascinating, endearing and entertaining delve into a lived experience outwith the binary from an assured and immensely likeable performer.
Petts looks back to her teenage years of trying to be perceived as more feminine to the present day where she describes being “the man I always wanted to be”.
Her anecdotes and stories have the sold-out room in stitches, making a mockery of the culture war discourse that so often surrounds this topic online. It’s a refreshing perspective, introducing the audience to her life, her identity and taking them along on the journey she’s been on.
Confident in her material and also her ability to improvise, which she displays impressively throughout, she’s also confident in her place as both a football lad and a radical queer feminist.
Her aim is to speak about her experiences in a funny and accessible way and there are ticks against both of those boxes, breezing through topics many see as heavy with a playfulness but also a hard-hitting edge towards the end.
She tells of how she’s treated differently when read as male compared to female, her attempts at taking the opportunity to cash in on some male privilege, her experiences in the stands at her beloved Selhurst Park and those too in the queues for ladies’ toilets.
For those who don’t know, it would come as a shock that this was her debut show, such was the engaging and confident presence on stage before them.
Petts is so at ease interacting with the crowd, even on a sweltering day where many could be wilting in the heat. Her back and forths across the hour with members of the audience really add to the show.
With Transience, she has cemented her place as a star of the future with an intelligent and important hour packed with brilliant quips and observations. It’s selling out fast, and no wonder.
A warning for any members of the Tartan Army heading along though – you will hear Vindaloo. Several times.
Chloe Petts: Transience, Pleasance Courtyard Upstairs, until August 28
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