Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Underbelly – Whitebelly
6th-30th Aug
16.30
Weekdays £8/£9 Weekends £9/£10
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Rebecca Crookshank’s self portrayal of life as a woman in the British RAF; a place where they are honest enough to literally refer to you as a number rather than by name, is a show that I feel rather perplexed about reviewing. On one hand I want to celebrate her as a woman who survived a very hard time within an institution where being a woman is very difficult, but on the other hand, my personal opinions regarding the British ‘Defense’ system isgetting in the way of my being objective about Rebecca’s performance.
*
Rebecca begins by taking you though the training stage of her career, almost step by step, but makes up for the detail with funny and brilliantly accurate accent impersonations and a couple of hilarious one liners. She then draws an equally detailed outline of her personal journey with mental illness, friendships, family woes and characters within the hierarchy of the RAF, but keeps it all very smiley and bouncy in a bid to bring a comedic element to the narrative.  There is a good use of projector flash backs and pre-recorded audio to give depth to the characters that Rebecca impersonates throughout.
*
Apparently, according to Rebecca’s account, the RAF aren’t very up to date with feminism. Quite ironic really as they stand to serve a woman  and her country; but it would seem that even in recent years, being greeted to your new dwellings as the only woman resident, by twenty eight men’s bare ar*eholes and being literally tea-bagged as part of unregulated initiation, is quite a normal thing to occur in a military unit!  Rebecca was not shy in coming forward about her strategy to protect herself from being sexually harassed, but it did involve developing a sexual relationship with one of the men.
*
Her face lights up while she beams to the audience over her qualified position as a military aircraft director, seemingly unphased by what these machines do to their victims.  Rebecca did on occasion use slight sarcasm when referring to the importance of our need for defense in Britain, and then I suddenly realised, she’d was maybe being so careful of what she talks about in the show, since she has put herself on such a public platform, otherwise the necessary people may send in an unfortunate and untimely accident her way!
*
I was hoping for truth about Chemtrails and her telling us that she left the RAF because she uncovered the propaganda machine from the inside and realised their wasn’t much nobility in serving a Queen that doesnt give a sh*t if you are killed in action, under a bunch of chauvinist men who wanted to rape her every morning, but no such luck.  Some of that message came through quite evidently, but it was shrouded by recitals of letters between Rebecca and her close friend, another female service person, and reminiscing with Spice Girls songs.
*
I was quite disturbed at how proud Rebecca appeared, about having been taught to use a gun. She seemed to me childlike and naive in her attitude regarding what she actually did for a living. But I guess, as she pointed out herself,  when you consider the military take youngsters on two years before they can legally vote, she is not to blame for being psychologically conditioned. It’s as if the Military were to say, ‘Until you are eighteen years old, it is far to dangerous to trust you with a pen and piece of paper to make a decision for your country, on who should be in charge of decisions about going to war and other stuff; but while you are two years younger, no doubt more impressionable and definitely petrified of us shouting in your face… here.. have a gun!! And we’ll train you how to kill effectively in a war, while mentally degrading you at the same time. You’re welcome!’ TWO STARS
*
two-stars
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Reviewer : Bobbi Mckenzie

Posted on August 7, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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