From the moment they appeared, and continued to grow, she felt more and more uncomfortable with her breasts. To the point where she decided to do something about it.
Now a performance revolving around an eventual and elective double mastectomy doesn’t sound like it would be a barrel of laughs. And while it doesn’t fall into the barrel category, it is warm, witty, clever, engaging and thought provoking. To be honest, unexpectedly so.
Jenkins identifies as a queer, cisgender women. She wasn’t transitioning, she didn’t have cancer. In fact she is very careful to show respect for those women who do have cancer, and for whom the removal of one or both boobs is devastating.
She just felt no affection or need for hers. And she ponders, when we can do so much else, voluntarily, to our bodies why should her particular want, have been treated with such questioning and a little incredulity. But at least her psychiatrist liked her.
Melbourne based musician and comedian Jenkins has crafted a performance which explains the rationale behind her decision, the process of assessment to convince the medical profession to “sign off” on the surgery, the eventual procedure – in Florida, and the interesting, no, hilarious consequences of being caught up in Florida’s hurricane season. (Note to self, don’t visit Florida in August – no matter the reason – it’s “a bit” wet and windy).
Her story is told in a mix of expressive dialogue and lyrically clever song, with a minimum of fuss. One gets the impression, much like Selina herself. There’s just Selina, her wonderfully animated smile and eyes, her guitar, her psychiatrist’s voice (from high), and at one point a little audience participation from a willing and appreciative crowd.
Selina attempts to take the tit out of identity and succeeds.
Boobs won multiple awards in the cabaret category of Melbourne’s 2020 Green Room awards, and was named as one of Melbourne’s top five stage in 2019. No matter your gender or boob status it’s thoroughly recommended.
Selina Jenkins: BOOBS
Quartet Bar – Adelaide Festival Centre, King William Street, Adelaide
Performance: Saturday 19 June 2021 – 6.00pm
Season: 18 – 20 June 2021 (ended)
The 2021 Adelaide Cabaret Festival continues to Saturday 26 June. For more information, visit: www.adelaidecabaretfestival.com.au for details.
Image: Selina Jenkins – photo by Alison Fairley
Review: Helen Lewis – courtesy of All About Entertainment – Adelaide Cabaret Festival Reviews