Shoreditch Town Hall, London
The 13-strong cast dive with gusto into the gap between seeing and looking, us and them, and you and me
“What do you see when you look at me?” chant The PappyShow’s ragtag, 13-strong cast of varying races, ages, genders and abilities. Taking the question at face value, performer Bea Holland explains that the eye itself sees nothing; it’s the brain that does the seeing. It’s a neat opening move, and the freewheeling scenes and scenarios that follow dive with some gusto into that very gap: between seeing and looking, perceiving and conceiving; between us and them, and you and me.
The cast introduce themselves with affectionate cliches that are rudimentary stereotypes nonetheless: a singsong Italian accent (Debora Minà), kungfu kicks (Jules Chan), bhangra dancing (Simran Hunjun). Later, when we’re softened up, a fashion parade exaggerates and furthermore mismatches the stereotypes: a black woman in a wheelchair rolls up in Breton sailor drag, complete with boating hat, striped jersey and baguette; an east Asian man sports a Rastacap and dreadlock wig; a white woman with a crutch walks on in a black face mask.