Pleasure Little Treasure at Edinburgh Fringe ★★★★
Estonian actor and theatre-maker Elina Alminas delivers an eye-opening autobiographical tour-de-force of strip club memories and Happy Meal fantasies.
Imagine the scene: it’s 1991, the Soviet Union has collapsed, and you’re growing up in Estonia’s first strip club! We’ve all been there, right?
Elina Alminas has, and this impressive hour of comedy-drama is the result. Toxic masculinity, the patriarchy and the male gaze are skewered, through lip-sync, drag, costume-changes and video clips. It’s a testament to Alminas’ captivating stage presence that an hour in her company really flies by – indeed, one feels like she must have enough material to fill a show twice as long.
Her Elon character, who makes a couple of appearances, is a gruesome character who could almost star in his own repulsive show. But it’s Almina as herself – pregnant to boot – who really owns this show, and engaging, enthusiastic stage presence who makes everyone in the room feel like they’re engaged in a one-to-one conversation.
I am Joint Editor at To Do List. I like: nice pubs, film marathons, not doing real marathons, bad comedy, plays/musicals with shorter second halves, and the Oxford comma.