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Pretty Ugly @ LPAC by Lauren Orwin | 29 October 2015

Imagine a stage where the performer is so intimately exposed to us. She lies on the stage (very Abramovic) surrounded by the costumes which will make up her show. The performer is Louise Orwin and she is about to take us on a journey.

Teenage girls around the world post videos of themselves online, asking viewers if they think they are pretty or ugly. Orwin took this idea and decided to see what would happen if she played the roles of three teenage girls online for a year. Most of the comments were negative, a majority of them from men. However, this show is not just about exposing misogyny or, indeed, paedophilia (she was posing as underage girl, and most of the genuine posters online are under the age of consent). Pretty Ugly is also about girls – about being a girl. About how we question, doubt, and construct ourselves. Imagine Moran’s How To Build a Girl on stage, with some shocking scenes.

Orwin introduces not only to the characters of Baby, Becky and Amanda, but also three of the men which contacted her. The stories she tells us are shocking, powerful and really eye-opening. Not to mention disturbing. I will say that there is a bit of a trigger warning for suicide mentions, sexual content, and grooming.

After the show I tweeted to Louise that she’d broken my heart, blown my mind and made me feel awesome all at the same time – and it’s true. Orwin’s show is ridiculously powerful, extremely moving and beautifully empowering.

Find more about Louise’s show here.

Find out more about LPAC here.

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