There is one proven way as a transgender individual to significantly lower your risk of hate crime, explains Edalia Day – be hot. In Too Pretty to Punch, Day mixes spoken word, comedy and a lovely bit of banjo to examine the gender boxes society tries to shove us into.
Day is a friendly and endearing chaperone, guiding the audience through new gender terminology and alternative pronouns. What do you do if you feel your box is more of a spaceship? Luckily, Day is a poet and willing to help us find the words.
In a festival saturated with intense, high-energy one-person autobiographical shows, Day is a refreshingly calm change of pace. A serene stage presence and subtle humour allows the message to be delivered clearly. Day is one of those rare, quietly assertive performers who doesn’t need to shout to be heard.
Day adds an extra dimension to the performance with interactive AV. A highlight has the performer situated within a projected animated fashion magazine that revolves digital outfits over their body like the iconic Clueless closet. It’s a clever, witty and off-beat visualisation of how society polices our bodies, in particular those of women and non-binary individuals.
At other points the projection clutters the stage and disconnects the audience. An animated storybook re-telling of Day’s childhood and personal trans journey is well made but much less interesting to watch than Day is. An exceptional physical performer, their understated, exact movement tells more of a story than a hundred projected pictures.