nytheatre.com review by Josephine Cashman
August 15, 2013
“Don’t ever stop fucking me.”
There’s a loaded statement if there ever was one.
Fxxx Me is a short, 45 minute satirical one woman show that manages to both celebrate, insult, objectify and worship women all at once (never fear, men aren’t off the hook either). Written and performed by Swedish actress Ulrika Ellemark, it is the premiere of its English Translation at this year’s FringeNYC. It is successfully mesmerizing and appalling, and very, very smart.
The satire is provocative. Ellemark is provocative. She is sensual, regal, proud, sometimes submissive, and she has no shame about who she is. She loves men. She loves everything about them and so she is the Best. She tells us that she doesn’t like complicated, but then goes into great detail why. Her friend never gets laid because she talks too much and cares too much about social issues. Ellemark gives us advice- actually instructions- on what turns her on, what body parts need grooming, how she will do absolutely anything (and she means anything) to keep her husband happy. And since she is the Best, we should follow her example.
Ellemark’s character is quite believable as this very complex woman who builds her arguments and then undercuts it without any self-awareness. Or is there? I can’t quite decide if the satire is subtle or over the top, and there are times when I worry that perhaps some of the biting comedy is lost in its cultural translation. She challenges the audience to look at aspects of the relationships between the genders, and this woman’s point of view. It is not always comfortable, it is at times insulting, but the more outrageous her ideas and opinions are, the more weirdly fascinating she becomes.
It is a peculiar performance, but a remarkable one. I kept waiting for the carpet to be pulled out from under me, but it never happened. That might be the point.