goo:ga is a comedy special by a very pregnant woman. Feminist performance artist and comedian Hannah Ballou is knocked up. She found out about it live on stage in her critically-acclaimed show hoo:ha at Camden People’s Theatre’s 2015 Calm Down Dear festival. Through her trademark blend of stand up, song, dance, games, and the occasional cameo by her sidekick, Nigel the Pug, Ballou will delve into the comedic depths of pregnancy and work out what’s funny about having a tiny human sticking out of the front of you (spoiler: a lot.)
What will an 8-months-along bump do to a showgirl’s bag of performance art tricks? In a biting materialist feminist satire of ‘gender reveal parties,’ the first night’s audience (and Ballou herself) were treated to a live revelation of the baby’s sex, thus witnessing the exact moment the performative statement ‘It’s a _______!’ indelibly marks a person’s entry into the gender paradigm; don’t hold your breath for any pink confetti or blue cupcakes. As a consolation prize, the second night’s audience got to name the baby. The show mocks postfeminist fetishisation of ‘the bump’ and celebrity fertility as spectacle whilst also challenging the de-sexing of pregnant women that is the product of the Madonna/whore binary that historically organises women’s bodies in Western culture.
It’s sort of like what would happen if Annie Sprinkle impregnated Bridget Christie who (when 8 months along) waddled onstage to sing, dance, and moan about postfeminist malarkey and not being able to see her own muff. Many thanks to Alex Murphy, technician, Eugenio Triana, videographer, Timothy Trimingham Lee & Eva Auster, pug au pairs, and the staff of Camden People's Theatre, London where this performance was filmed.