Melbourne Fringe: Sophie deLightful gives us an insight into what it means to be a “Power Pussy”

Melbourne cabaret artist and power pussy Sophie deLightful is all about the #GirlPower in her latest work, Diary of a Power Pussy. Taking part in Melbourne Fringe Festival‘s cracking line-up for 2017, which was revealed last night, this show will open your eyes up to a whole lot more than meets the eye. Ms deLightful is one-of-a-kind with some really valid points to make about empowering women in 2017.

What is a power pussy?

A power pussy can be any gender, any race, any sexuality – anyone! It is someone who identifies with their inner feminine power and brings it to the forefront of their everyday lives. It’s about being sassy, fierce, bold and empowering, and challenging yourself to push your boundaries and live life to the fullest. There is an innate sexuality that runs through each and every one of us power pussies, that brings that extra spice to life. It’s addictive and scary all at once!

Is there a power penis?

Sure, but that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish! I think the world has had its fill of power penis and it’s time to bring out the sass – wouldn’t you agree?

Why is this show and its themes important?

In a time where so much rests on the definition and acceptance of gender and sexuality in modern-day society, it’s important to strip things back (pun intended) to what it’s all about. Re-connecting people, without bias, to their inner power pussy allows them to open their mind to the possibility of unlimited possibility. Whether just for the 1-hour of my show or in every day of their lives, this release of sexual energy and fierce empowerment within one’s self is enlightening and thoroughly enjoyable. I feel the content of Diary of a Power Pussy is relatable to a diverse audience, and the combination of my cheeky hosting, powerhouse vocals and emotive poetry with a handpicked selection of local burlesque and circus talent is a dynamic, unforgettable keyhole look into the life of a power pussy.

What do you want audiences to take from it?

As with any form of performance art, it is completely up to each audience member what they choose to take away from my show. I’ve already done Power Pussies shows in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane, and the feedback still sometimes surprises me. One person’s trash act is another person’s treasure! Given that the only requirement to see this show is living for over 18 years, it has attracted young and old, gay and straight, singles and couples, groups and solo flyers. In my experience, they all leave with a sexy tingle running through their bodies and a newly unburdened sense of empowerment that they too can be sexy; they can take on the world and indeed they can be that extra bit sassy!

It’s on at 10pm. What do people need to brace themselves for with such an adult time slot?!

I don’t mind at all if my audience has knocked back a bit of liquid courage to enter The Butterfly Club basement by the time 10pm comes around. The title of my show can be intimidating. It also makes it hard to advertise in some places, but that’s another story. Even my mum asks me why I have to use “pussy” so much in my shows. For me, it de-sensitises the word from something gross and taboo, to something empowering and accepted. If you can come to my show with the attitude to take this journey yourself, then you’re on the right path. Expect us to make you a part of the cabaret experience – interaction is key in my shows – and whether I shock you or just give you a giggle, expect to come away feeling utterly f**king fabulous.

How does this show allow you to explore aspects of your womanhood and femininity that you wouldn’t have otherwise discovered?

The evolution of my Power Pussies series has been an interesting journey for me. It has challenged my own beliefs in my ability and how I can influence others, and also how I can shape myself as a performer and producer. The network of performers I have been exposed to and worked with in these shows have also taught me the value of diversity in challenging my audiences, and motivated me to create new avenues to work with them again. I never deliver the same show in the same city for more than one season, and from an idea that begun as a one-off, the fact I’ve been able to continue it monthly in Melbourne and tour it interstate shows that the themes explored are not only important but far-reaching. I feel more in touch with my inner power pussy than ever before, and I feel like it’s become my duty to spread the word to as many as will listen.

Do you keep a diary to this day? What do you write about?

Actually, I haven’t written a journal-style diary for many years now, but I still have them boxed away in my childhood home. These days, my diary takes the form of blogs and my live performance. I’m a former music journalist and have always loved to write; it is cathartic and an easy task for me. The poetry I’ve included in Diary of a Power Pussy is actually based on my life experiences – granted a bit of artistic licence – so I don’t want to say too much and ruin the surprise! Here’s a hint: it’s not always easy being a power pussy and not everyone always understands you.

What are the risks that come with creating works as provocative as this?

Mainly misunderstanding. I’ve had consistently positive reviews of my Power Pussies shows, but I remember one reviewer taking the angle of it being a big, fat spotlight on feminism and man-hating. As I said, each person takes away what they want from this show, but it does disappoint me that some people don’t look past the surface of what it first appears. If what you want is an entertaining, fun night out on the town with some fierce femmes, then we can provide. If what you want is to be challenged and to question your perception on sexuality and empowerment, then we can provide. If you want to come to jeer at the bearing of flesh and judge us for not being size 8, I can’t guarantee you a warm welcome. All that said, you may find the most provocative part of this show IS the title – but you never, never know if you never, never go!

What advice would you give men and women to fight the fear and just create daring pieces of theatre?

It can be daunting at first, not knowing how people will perceive your art or how it will serve to create your own image. But if you believe in what you are creating, then push on. Find people who are in your corner – don’t cut them (corners, not people!). Identify those who can mentor, support, collaborate and appreciate you in your journey, and don’t look back. Theatre has long been a platform that challenges society and pushes boundaries. Consider yourself blessed that you will form part of such an illuminated history.

Diary of a Power Pussy is showing at The Butterfly Club as part of Melbourne Fringe Festival from  September 12-17. For tickets and more info, head here.

Featured photo by Monika Mackowiak