IMOGENÉ is the loud, proud and unapologetic performer we all need right now
BY SOPHIE GRIFFITHS, IMAGE BY LEE PULLEN
Last week at Vault Festival, a star was born right in front of my very eyes. IMOGENÉ’s character has slowly come into existence over the last three years, but very recently, and with the help of musical collaborator Jack Orcozo Morrison and clown teacher and artist Deanna Fleysher, IMOGENÉ has transformed into an all singing, all dancing, strong-chance-of-audience-interaction, clown super show…
From the moment you enter the room, you’re in IMOGENÉ’s world. Her over-the-top stage presence commands all of your attention – including those who are probably secretly dreading the audience participation element. Not to fear though, everyone is made to feel welcome here. Toss all your inhibitions out of the window because that is the best way to experience IMOGENÉ.
As the show begins, she’s about to head into the studio to present music mogul Mark Ronson with her new album and the crowd are all there to help her with suggestions. The night I’m at the show, IMOGENÉ’s improv songs range from an online romance between two audience members, “doing it doggy style” and an audience member’s outer labia – all in the style of stadium anthems, feminist rock ballads and pop hits.
Before IMOGENÉ even enters the room everyone is ordered to look away for her emergence and what an emergence it is. Covered in glitter, she dazzles us from the get go.
Over an hour long period including improvised pop songs, multiple costume changes (some more successful than others) and high intensity physical performance, IMOGENÉ makes us cry with laughter while leaving us with some harsh truths on weighty themes including consent, feminism, gender identity and polyamory – in ways you’ve never seen before.
The audience interaction is on a level I’ve never experienced, even to the point where I’m the one helping IMOGENÉ get undressed. The queer mega-star picks on audience members to chat about their lives and experiences to help inspire her songs, leaving herself vulnerable to rejection, but we’re all just as vulnerable as each other throughout the performance knowing we could get picked on at any moment.
IMOGENÉ is not afraid to open up about her experience as a polyamorous pansexual and it feels extremely empowering to see a queer individual representing the community so fearlessly on stage, handing out rainbow flags to everyone in the audience – whether they asked for one or not.
I left wanting to get out there and be totally unapologetic and outspoken about who I am. In fact, maybe we could all be a little more IMOGENÉ.
Part improvised pop-concert, part confessional clown show, IMOGENÉ is the fourth wall-breaking, hilariously-interactive show that everyone needs to experience. Five stars for IMOGENÉ all round from DIVA.
The queer clown revolution is coming and IMOGENÉ is its (glittering) leader.
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