Pirates and Sex Dolls

Comedian Helchild is ready to take to the stage as part of this year’s Wild West Comedy Festival with her satirical show Pirates and Sex Dolls in Outer Space. Described as a wildly drunken misadventure in outer space the show brings together a cache of characters that the comic performer has been developing for years alongside some new faces created specifically for this show.

OUTinPerth caught up with Helchild as she was preparing for the show to find out more about what got her into performing.

How did you first get into performing?

It started off as a kid, mainly pulling pranks, dressing up in costumes and pulling jokes on people. At college my friends and I used to dress up as Grannies and we’d go to K-Mart and people wouldn’t know if we were real or not.  We’d be flying along, riding the trolleys. People would give us free stuff because they thought we were out promoting something, it was great fun.

Then it turned to activism, I was a visual artist, I was a sculptor for about six years. My friends were photographers and they use to do nude photography shows and they would get picketed by conservatives and people would ring them up and complain and want the galleries closed.

I invented a character called Darlene the Evangelist; she would picket their nude exhibitions and gate crash the openings. It got to a point where you just weren’t considered to be ‘way out’ unless you had Darlene picketing your show. From there I went on to picket the Pride Parade with a bunch of friends, we were the old biddies and codgers against everything.  A real picketer came and joined us; he was so confused and ended up running away.

What other characters do you perform?

In 2002 I started doing Dolly the Sex Doll; she’s a sex doll rights activist, and a sex toy rights activist. Sex toys weren’t just made for our pleasure; some of them have minds of their own – and they want to be liberated!  They don’t like being used a sex slaves. She talks about her life and sings a little country song, because she looks like Dolly Parton.

Another character [drag queen] Tragedy is always fun to perform. I love doing lip sync dance routines. One year when they had a tribute show Looking for Liza Tragedy created his own version Looking for a Bucket. It involved a lot of creamed corn – that went off.

I love doing a Pauline Hanson character, she’s creating her own master race using cane toad genes, we made this monstrosity, it was one of my friends in a costume, but people love that too. I had a lot of fun with that.

Which characters are we going to see in your show at the Wild West Comedy Festival?

You’re going to see Dolly the Sex Doll. You’re going see a new character called Captain Hellchild who is the most depraved and disgusting man. He’s like Mr Punch, he has no morals what so ever, but he’s lovable. He’s like the worst of us, but we need to love our darker side.

How have you gone about putting together the show?

Originally they were pieces that I could perform as separate acts. They started life as separate pieces. Then I realised that by combining them I could create a whole show out of them. I’ve got lots of stuff that I can do that with, but this is the one that I realised could be a tour show.

It involves some of my philosophy about outer space and world domination and also sexual liberation. So it’s all be stuck together, it’s in two parts, the first part is the pirates, the second half is the dolls. So there’s a costume change in the middle, because it’s just impossible to do all four characters in one go.

What fascinates you about outer space?

Well, it’s infinite. It dwarfs us and it so full of the infinite and the unknown, yet people don’t even look up. They don’t want to believe it exists; they just stay in their narrow perspective. So I thought let’s do a show about that. The great thing about comic theater is you get to create your own reality. Why not really warp people’s minds and get them to think about the infinite.

Catch the show 6.30pm Thursday 30, Friday 31, August and Saturday 1 September at Rosie O’Gradys Pub, James St, Northbridge.  Tickets on sale at www.wildwestcomedy.com


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