Transpose JOY: Pit Party

Now you’ll have to forgive me for this is a well long overdue review of the show Transpose JOY: Pit Party. So let me take you on a journey. 

Picture this. It’s a typical rainy (ish) day in London and I’m cycling through east London to get to the Barbican. But this is no typical day, it’s Trans Day of Visibility and I’m about to watch the wonderful production by Campbell X, CN.Lester and Tabby Lamb

Along with my bestie, I grabbed some pink gins (yes I am that predictable) and settled in the front row for the show to begin. Now, I had no real expectations before the show as I tried not to read too much into it beforehand  – this is so I could enjoy it organically. 

The show is introduced first with a video piece of a number of powerful interviews of both the cast members and other key members of the community. It’s a strong start and sets the tone for the show. 

The performers to take the stage for this edition of Transpose JOY were Mzz Kimberley, Felix Mufti and Ebony Rose Dark. During the course of the show this iconic trio take us through a series of different performances, from spoken word, lip syncs, dances and songs. It’s an eclectic mix of talents that brings what can only be described as pure JOY to the audience. We clapped along, sung our hearts out and shed a tear (or 3). 

Landscape colour photo of Ebony Rose Dark centre stage. The stage is dimly lit with a spotlight of orange and blues pointing towards them. They are sat facing the back of the stage. They wear a gold mohegan like hat and a full gold jumpsuit with matching boots. They are sat on a tall stool. They also are holding their visual aid guide sticks in each hand, The sticks are decorated with gold shimmer dangly material.

What’s more the show aims to be accessible to those with sight loss, with visual descriptions either before, during or after each section. Something I had never experienced before and thought was so well thought out and done. 

As well as the joy, the queerness and the accessibility there were some other highlights for me. The main being Ebony Rose Dark’s dancing rainbow cock – need I say more? See the photos below that I managed to get of this iconic moment. 

colour photograph of the stage with two spotlights pointing towards the centre of the stage, In the centre knelt on the floor dress in a rainbow penis out is Ebony Rose Dark. Their arms and legs are covered in purple tights like material.
Image credit: Lucy Everett

Another incredible part of the show was Felix Mufti’s spoken word and song pieces. It was the perfect mix of powerful words, epic twerking and on point fashion with them donning a number of wonderful Juicy Couture velour and diamante tracksuits.  

Landscape colour photograph of Felix on stage. They are the centre of the photo looking just off the camera into the audience. They’re stood with their arms by their side. They wear a crop top, dark velour tracksuit bottoms and a black protection vest. Their hair is shoulder length, dark and curly and is worn loose. They have lots of tattoos. The lights create a mix of purple, blue and red lights upon Felix and the stage.
Photo by Holly Revel

And I cannot miss off a shout out to Mzz Kimberly. What a stage presence and what a voice. She is one of those performers who can demand the attention of the room without having to say a word – that’s when you know they’re gonna be good. Also since the show ended she has also been seen representing the trans community in the Queen’s Jubilee parade. ICONIC. 

So if you haven’t guessed by now, I LOVED the show. I mean how can you not? I think it felt even more powerful and moving because we saw it on Trans Day of Visibility. I came away feeling so moved and so in awe of the talent we saw. 

Speaking to CN.Lester, founder of Transpose, after the show was also really lovely. They were so pleased we enjoyed the show and when I asked if the show would be going anywhere else they were hoping for more funding – so here’s crossing all our fingers and manifesting it happens because if you’ve not seen it, you need to. 

Rainbow dancing cocks, twerking, singing, dancing and pure queer joy – I mean what more could you want? 

But fear not, whilst we wait for the next performance, the performers, writers and directors are still out in the world doing their thing and spreading their wonderful queer joy for all to see. You can check out their socials for what they’re up to next.

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