Wearing a puffy polyester blouse over a glittery silver dress, paired with stone-faced pout, Britt Plummer—the actor and clown behind one-woman satire, Chameleon—leaps onto her stage.
Over pulsing disco beats she dances and lip-syncs, striking dramatic poses every time the track’s singer intones, “Yes.” “Yes.” “Yes.” The room’s warm, but Britt’s working like she could dance forever.
Chameleon is a quirky, stirring mash-up of mime, storytelling and physical comedy, making its FRINGE WORLD debut after successful shows at Edinburgh Fringe and Adelaide Fringe in 2019.
Britt—trained at the prestigious École Philippe Gaulier in Paris—is an utterly commanding performer; strong and silky in her movements, whip-quick and effervescent in her expressions.
Across six-or-so sketches and as many costume changes, Britt takes us from shy schoolyard friendship, through the unwanted attentions of French men, to a quick disco break after which she emerged clad in something neon green to conduct what she proudly called a Pleasure Orchestra.
It’s bizarre and brilliant; a breathless life story told through disco mime and wide-eyed, giggling buffoonery.
Chameleon is pitched as a fiercely feminist show, examining gender dynamics and smashing stereotypes. Britt’s a natural storyteller, and in a quieter, compelling moment behind the microphone, she tells us she’s sick of it.
I can’t help but think here this moment could have been devastating had we learned exactly what she’s sick of, beyond generalised, sanitised statements—a story about the Parisian men we just watched Britt pretend to be, campy and handsy and all over the young woman, for example.
But Chameleon isn’t a monologue; it’s a physical performance—curious, new-to-me ways of looking at things, without being opined at.
Britt commands the whole room, so a gentle warning if you’re not a fan of audience participation—you may want to avoid eye contact; things do get a bit weird. But in this charming, quirky performance, you can’t help but feel a part of something. Yes. Yes. Yes.