Twenty-four hours ago I was a naïve child: I knew nothing of the domestic storage world, nothing of the joys of effective food preservation... in short, compressible Tupperware was yet to touch not only my hands, but my very soul. Such was the selling prowess and stage authority of Dixie and her Tupperware Party.
Dixie's Tupperware Party is truly one of a kind- a drag cabaret act, pertaining to the mystical American institution of the Tupperware party. For those of you who are unaware (I'm looking at you, men who think effective storage of last night's korma is 'on the side'), Tupperware is a joyous, if somewhat Stepford-esque plastic invention, which keeps your kitchen goods stored in an airtight receptacle. Founded by Earl Tupper in 1946, Tupperware was made successful by pioneering businesswoman, and probably the first ever social networker, Brownie Wise, who threw Tupperware parties to demonstrate and sell the strange new products (eat your heart out, Zuckerberg). As such, pinning an entire drag act on the dying art of the Tupperware party is not only a mean feat, but possibly the most bizarrely original theatrical concept you'll see all year.
Tottering on stage in sky-high white stilettos and a bouffant of red curls, Dixie looks like Alice in Wonderland on crack, or trailer trash Barbie. Yet her Southern drawl, witty backchat and slurring between glugs of Jack Daniels (out of a Tupperware beaker, of course), make it utterly impossible not to warm to her. As she hurtles through her demonstrations at a verbal speed that only Americans seem to manage, she effortlessly pulls in members of the (utterly disarmed) audience for comic sacrifice. Like lambs to the slaughter we went, transfixed by her honey-sweet tones, and catch-phrase littered chit chat, and while we were all brutally vilified, Dixie, like a true pro, never alienated a single soul.
Regrettably, however, Tupperware will only take you so far, and the Party's dizzying originality also comes to be its downfall. The most interesting material of the night was to be found in Dixie's morally wayward asides: quips about vodka jelly shots in Church, her three children who (much to her annoyance) the government kept insisting on returning to her, allusions to time spent behind bars ("You sure do meet some great lesbians though!"). Dixie is undoubtedly a well-researched, affable, sparklingly witty character, yet within the strict confines of Tupperware, she never has the chance to reach her full potential. Like a prematurely deflated cucumber incorrectly stored, she had so much more to give...
Dixie's Tupperware Party is irrepressibly riotous, indubitably unique, and (almost) educational. It's only a shame the party begins and ends with Tupperware.
Dixie's Tupperware Party is at the Soho Theatre from 7th-19th May.
Follow Charlotte Skeoch on Twitter: www.twitter.com/charlieskeoch