Live Review: Betty Grumble, Sex Clown Saves the World



Betty grumble sex clown saves the world

QUT Theatre Republic – the loft 19/9/1

The saying goes that there are those who make it happen, those who watch it happen but in Betty Grumbles’ case you would be entitled to ask: “What the fuck just happened???” For those in this world who think they’ve been it all- well they haven’t…until they’ve see this show. This is edgy, delicious, high camp, audience interactive brave solo performance bordering on mania but it is decisive, sharp, really funny, dramatic, confrontational and – above all – it is a bold work with meaning and theme.

Betty (AKA: Emma Maye Gibson) is unnervingly confident in her sense of self and body image. She presents a refreshing performance with nudity, crudity, lewdity and junky props to remind us of the darker world we choose to live in and still ignore. Flip flopping between themes of corporate greed, female objectification, eco sexuality and environmental rape Ms. Grumble performs from the get go as a nude drag queen clown but its more than just showing off tits and bush, it’s a deconstruction presented in such a way that the crowd of seasoned arty types were blushing and the Jo Schmo punters left educated. Most would observe that the nudity was overridden by the theme very quickly, it was like: “Now that I have your attention I’d like to talk about this”.

But this show is so much more than preaching feminist ecological causes to the converted – its genius is in presenting causes to the unconverted and winning them over. This 60-minute “beautiful pub fight” left the crowd dazed in its approach, its’ a perfectly timed cyclone of disco, ballet, blood, poo, intestines and beautifully crafted music!!! It is rare to witness a crowd gasp in collective surprise so many times. It was like sitting at the original screening of “The Crying Game”. If you had walked in half way through this maelstrom you’d think you’d stumbled across a 60’s sci-fi sex cult conference. It is really hard not to relay on all the jaw dropping things Betty Grumble does in this performance without revealing all of the braver parts of the show but let’s say it would make Annie Sprinkle blush!! Betty Grumble has perfected her mastery of the crowd!


This is smart art. It’s for anyone looking for something they haven’t have seen before (apart from wowsers and religious types….you best stay at home and write your letters of complaint to Council about the rubbish bins). If you felt confronted or if you felt anything at all then Betty Grumble got her point across. If you didn’t feel challenged by this performance then you’ve died and no one has told you yet.

Words by John A

Betty Grumble Sex Clown saves the World is showing until the 23rd of September

For tickets visit :





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