Perhaps a queer equine fantasia won’t be to everyone’s taste but the artistic ambition and endeavour behind All The Fraudulent Horse Girls makes it worth tracking down at The Glory
“I am Emma Stone the horse, I have no affiliation to Emma Stone the actor”
From the moment our narrator Audrey bursts through a lifesize magazine cover to deliver a peppy lipsync to ‘Strawberry Kisses’, you just know that All The Fraudulent Horse Girls ain’t gonna be your average show. The fact that it self-identifies as a “queer equine fantasia” and is taking place in the basement of legendary East London LGBTQ+ venue The Glory already pointed us in that direction but there’s really no way to evoke just how out of the paddock it goes.
Written by Michael Louis Kennedy and directed by Charles Quittner, this Brooklyn Rep production does a great job of curating what they call a theatrical happening as opposed to what one might conventionally call a play per se. The audience can sit on seats or the pink-carpeted floor, there’s moments of participation depending on what you can see which lends a marvellously disconcerting vibe of randomness, further played out with a pick’n’mix approach to styles.
Monologue and movement is mixed with music, mayhem and metamorphosis. We’re in the world of 11-year-old Audrey who isn’t just horse-mad, she horse-crazy! Obsessed with all things equine, we explore her oft-troubled childhood, though at a considerable tangent then when an encounter with a police horse goes awry, we tip through the stable door into full-on weirdness. And through this journey, Audrey ends up being played by three different performers.
Cazeleōn thrills as Audrey I, fully inhabiting the manic energy that comes with pre-teen obsession but also hinting at something of the psychology that might lead to it (poor Maddie), they’re a performer to definitely watch out for. Beth Graham’s Audrey II pulls us in a completely different direction as befits the forced nature of the transition and if Alice Morgan-Richards’ Audrey III gets less time in the spotlight, she nails the hilarious intensity of the witty coda.
All The Fraudulent Horse Girls is the inaugural production of Brooklyn Rep who, here, fulfil all parts of their remit as a queer experimental theatre company and in this climate, that feels like something to celebrate whether this Aussie-tinged, horse-obsessed, drag theatrical happening is in your wheelhouse or not.