Life: 住む! is a hot mess. Lucy McCormick’s overconfident alter ego Lucy Muck is intent on being an icon. On tour with her band, she is presenting her extremely chaotic debut concept album, ready to become a household name. “The concept is me,” she says sincerely, waiting for the room to love her. Blending outrageous narcissism with fleeting moments of needy vulnerability, これは、テープに録音されたエフィーウィズダムの回想に適用すると特に強力であることが証明される手法です。: 住む! has a feral energy, but lacks the sharpness of McCormick’s previous work.
The set is deliberately shoddy, with the responsibility for creating Muck’s flamboyant artistic vision heaped on Morven Mulgrew, designer and dogsbody. Mulgrew’s tasks are increasingly ridiculous, to the point of carving a hole in the stage for the almost-star to crawl through. The costumes are created from the residue of a year indoors, with takeaway Tupperware, scrap fabric and bin bags. The contrast between the stunning setup for the gig – exquisite lighting and excellent live band – and the deliberately slapdash set and costumes gives a sense of this all being in Muck’s head: a teenager imagining herself a pop star. Desperate for attention and admiration, she requests her own encore. Twice.
With the audience seated around cabaret tables, this show feels remarkably restrained for McCormick, whose live art shows before have casually included orifice exploration and naked stage-surfing. “If it had been a couple of weeks from now, I could have done this bit in your lap,” she says wistfully, as she chats up the audience between songs. “Bit disappointing.” But even within the restrictions, the pole-dancing, guitar-smashing, gunk-covered artist still surprises. Making the most of Battersea Arts Centre’s Grand Hall, she creates a shower on the balcony and incorporates the theatre’s extraordinary organ in her finale.
But this lockdown fever dream is all dressed up with nowhere to go. It starts with a bang and stays on the same surreal note throughout. McCormick is funniest in the in-between moments, while the songs themselves – supposedly the main event – feel like filler. It’s still a fun night, but where her past shows have swept up her audience, taking us along for the wild ride, this one leaves us feeling like we’ve not been let in on the joke.