Review: Lovely Girls at Zoo Southside

Lovely Girls is an all-singing, all-dancing, much thrusting and grimacing show about two young women’s struggles to be themselves. This show explores internalized sexism and social anxiety through a series of delightful, bizarre and often pretty damn funny dance routines. 

Chess and Cristina are a joy to watch, with a natural comedic connection, which immediately gave me a ‘French and Saunders’ vibes. The dancing was interwoven with naturalistic speech, often featuring both girls clamouring over one another to be heard; although impactful, this device was a little overused. Both performers movement work was captivating and swung effortlessly between the technicality and abandoned chaotic exuberance.

The message driving lovely girls was pretty clear throughout, questioning female stereotypes and in particular the idea of loveliness and sexiness under a traditionally white male gaze. Chess and Cristina’s performance was well received by the crowd who really seemed to get on their side, and the feminist message was recognizable and relatable.  At times, it felt a little simplistic and repetitive, but the girls brought in complexity with questions about their own prejudice and complicity in patriarchal oppression.

Overall, the performance was enjoyable and well-executed. However, as a piece of feminist theatre, the show lacked emotional depth and felt a little underdeveloped. Worth a watch if you’ve never seen anything like this before, it will definitely make you laugh and the soundtrack of classic girl power hits will get you wiggling in your seat.

Lovely Girls runs at ZOO Southside – Main House, 20:50 until the 17th of August

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