It’s perhaps a cop-out to suggest that words can’t really do HOTTER justice, but it’s true. Ell Potter and Mary Higgins’ hour-long show is something that has to be experienced and, crucially, something that has to be shared. Through a mix of verbatim and physical theatre, these two mesmerising performers lay themselves bare on stage, literally and emotionally.
Defying conventional rules of performance, the show begins at a hundred miles per hour and gradually slows down. It makes sense, as breaking conventions is exactly what HOTTER succeeds in doing. Ell and Mary speak openly and frankly about their feelings towards sex, masturbation, relationships, their own bodies and each other. As the subject matter gets more personal, the pace lessens. Yes, the show is about celebrating who we are and the bodies we live in, but HOTTER is also about embracing our vulnerabilities.
At times the show is unadulteratedly joyous, but that’s punctuated by moments that overwhelm the audience with emotion. The tenderness with which Ell and Mary discuss their own complex relationship is sobering to watch, while a significant change in Ell’s life adds an unexpected but deeply moving new perspective to everything that’s happened so far.
It’s not a spoiler to mention that HOTTER ends with everyone on their feet and dancing. There are tears both on and off the stage, one last release of emotion from performers and audience. There’s a real sense of love and solidarity in the room, completely free of irony and cynicism, and it’s all because of Higgins and Potter. They’re very much a reflection of this magnificent show they’ve created – fearless and remarkable.