Morgan Black protects herself in a layer of prose arming the listener with the idea already that she, herself, is subverted. So anything you are to say or do will not hurt her. Yet the prose she reads on out on paper acts as a vulnerable blanket exposing her deepest thoughts while also keeping you at an arms length as she creates caveats to who she is.
I would love to believe that this is not needed but as she rants about how she has been misgendered with abuse hurrled at her you can understand this is blanket of poetry is also a weapon, protectering herself and disarming the abuse she confronts.
She frees herself from gender norms and societal pressures in her punk attitude where it cannot get more punk than creating a triolgy of poems performed in four parts. Her dark humour makes you want to stand beside her and show allyship for her transition which is definitely not one that should be yelled as subverted – it demeans her ability to transcend into the person she so confidently is.
Her shadow upon the empty set acts as an alluring, sensual, slim, elegant figure which can only remind one of a femme fatale or in her wishes where she wants to metmorphisise into a Berlin Girl, straight out of the Golden Age of Weimar. She dresses for herself, empowered and confident in her sexuality and gender which she has created for she is reborn. Clad in black velvet and a black beret, long cigarette holder in hand she uses it not only for drammatical purposes but it also gives her time to gather her thoughts and take in a deep breath before she continues her show.
While at times I could not think fast enough to unpack the metaphors in her work she provides thought provoking annoalgies which are raw making you laugh and cry. By the time I left the theatre I could feel goosebumps down my arms. I was not entrily too sure what I felt. There was something Lynchian about her poetry, stand up and cabaret performance which genuinely made me laugh in confusion, fear and feel queer fury with passion and love in solidarity.
Recommended Drink: For this show I would recommend a Whiskey Sour, it’s slightly smokey like the dirty streets Black’s Berlin Girls would find themselves on but also contains a sour punch which she is not afraid to give.
Catch Morgan Black: Of Punk and Other Social Subversions at Sweet @ Keiller Centre 18th – 19th September 2023.