‘Unwatchable and unmissable’ is how one critic described Big Hits, a ‘provocative’ and ‘challenging’ revue devised, written and performed by the British experimental theater troupe collectively known as Getinthebackofthevan (yes, all one word). The show premiered in 2012, and they describe it as being about their love-hate relationship with pop culture.
The principal performers are Lucy McCormick and Jennifer Pick, playing Lucy McCormick and Jennifer Pick – they introduce themselves to the audience by their real names. Lucy is dressed in a sexy black minidress and heels. Jennifer is dressed as a giant rabbit, having (we are told) misunderstood her instructions to wear a bunny costume.
The third member of the cast is Craig Hamblyn, playing a taciturn stage hand who is ordered around by both women.
Lucy is said to represent the audience, while Jennifer stands for everything that makes them feel secure. The stated objective is to teach self-improvement, which means in practice that the revue works towards the rabbit’s death, once the audience is deemed to be sufficiently self-improved to relinquish their security.
Forget any idea of narrative or conventional comic structure: this revue overtly doesn’t tell the audience where it’s going or how to respond, and it develops through a series of apparently random interpersonal situations which mainly turn on Lucy’s loss of dignity,
not to mention many of her clothes.
Performing as a sexual object for the audience’s gratification, she finds herself in a range of raunchy moments, which include being humped by the rabbit:
And at one point she wins the show a place in this series by ordering the stage hand to spank her.
To avoid disappointment, we must enter a disclaimer here: he doesn’t spank her, in two senses. What happens isn’t a formal OTK spanking, just bottom-smacking. And he doesn’t even give her that properly: he makes the motion, but the slaps don’t make contact.
But that’s not good enough for Lucy, so she gives him a demonstration: sticks out her bottom, pulls down her panties and smacks herself hard, again and again.
The audience laughs, but begins to feel uncomfortable as it becomes obvious that her bottom is going red – very red. This was genuine, self-inflicted pain.
And as the revue continued its run, Lucy became progressively sorer in the sitting area: no faked stage violence here!
So give her a well-earned round of applause!