Comprising Katy, Issy, Charlotte, and Arabella, Flat and the Curves are a musical cabaret act that talk of female liberation, sexual power and those messy nights you barely remember.
These sequined stars are confident, charismatic, and capable of bringing the roof down. Vocally, the four are absolute powerhouses, smashing out notes that could shatter glass, and leave goosebumps down your spine. Charlotte was on keyboard, having also composed the backing track music, providing a perfect balance to the vocal prowess of the other three, while still being able to hold her own on a solo piece that sardonically lampoons ‘the nice guy’.
Lyrically, the songs weren’t the most complex, with the simple rhyming structure making the comedic lines predictable in places, and I found myself groaning on odd occasions at how strained those links were. Nonetheless, they elicited the appropriate level of laughter, and in many ways there wasn’t need for nuance, as this show was all about being unabashed – and saying the quiet parts out loud.
Although I was able to appreciate the musical talent, it’s not a bold statement to say that I was not the target audience. This is a show by females, for females, and the women in the audience were having an absolute blast. Songs about periods, man-babies, hen parties, and fingering are, inherently, going to appeal to one group more than the other.
It feels almost patronising to celebrate women speaking about sex and masturbation, as if it’s some big taboo that they’re breaking, but equally – how many female comedians can you name who do wade so stridently and bombastically into the subject matter, and especially do so with miming accompaniment and inflatable dicks? It’s certainly not mainstream in the way that male comedians are, whose crudeness is just accepted as par for the course. So hopefully Flat and the Curves are a sign that the equilibrium is adjusting.
Divadom is also advertised as 16+, but I would say this is a show that will appeal more to those who are in their 20s – those who have had time to live, make mistakes, and be able to reflect back on them with the appropriate levels of simultaneous shame and nostalgia. Certainly the young people next to me weren’t as engaged, spending as much time messing around on their phones and annoying the audience as they did appreciating the talent on display in the Queen Dome. But that could just be them…
One final note is that I did at points struggle to make out the lyrics being belted across the audience, in part due to the audio mixing causing backing vocals to drown out the lead singer at any given point. Although a technical issue, it did reduce the comedic impact of the songs. That is a minor complaint though, and again, the crowd (largely women, some with sheepish looking male partners) were having an exceptional time!