It really isn’t hyperbole to say Baby Lame is everything. She’s an international superstar whose fame and talent exceeds that of Madames Cyrus, Spears and Lohan. Her relationship with her manager/mother Moan Crawford makes Honey Boo Boo’s look positively tame. And, needless to say, Lame’s life is more messed up than The Exorcist and Keeping Up With The Kardashians combined. Combining many flavours of fucked-up, this infant has an deeply interesting character that will keep you on your toes as she unravels her spiralling tale of debauchery and dark secrets.
Here’s a tip: leave any inhibitions at the door. Baby Lame (to rhyme with came) can smell them a mile off and she’ll snatch them from you without mercy. Don’t Call it a Comeback is an unapologetically low-brow show featuring punk-horror-drag artist Chris Weller as the failed child star who metaphorically and literally bares all.
Over the course of an hour, we are given a taste of her life through song, dance and video as well as a lot of mooning, dirty jokes and unforgiving audience participation. The audience is along for the ride the whole time– the lucky ones will “only” be sitting at the edge of their seats with fear; the unlucky ones will be dragged up on stage for some not-so-cute participation.
Baby Lame’s shameless monstrosity is certainly not a respecter of societal niceties, but don’t mistake that for tastelessness. The show is clearly a carefully written, well-rehearsed and quite marvellous mishmash that presents reality through schtick and farce.
The transitions between the many different segments can be less than smooth but the show takes an ambitious approach to explore the various facets of Baby’s life as she goes from showbiz failure to married mother. If you can see beyond the grimy facade, there is plenty to appreciate about her deliberately battered outfits, her sexually charged performance and the fact that (if you get there early enough) that muffin you picked up on the way in possibly contained something a little different.
Don’t Call it a Comeback is an unforgettable performance. Baby Lame and her cohorts keep hold of the attention in a steely grip while demonstrating an incredible ability to improvise. They have created a space to enjoy irreverent and guilt-free pleasure because, no matter how brassy and cabaret-savvy you think you are, she will always be one step ahead. Consider that a final warning.
Don’t Call it a Comeback at Mimetic Festival, 20 Nov 2014. The Vaults, Leake Street, SE1 7NN. http://www.mimeticfest.com/
The Mimetic Festival continues until 29 November.