Feet Pics Aren’t Free
Smock Alley Theatre – Boys’ School
Gráinne Blumenthal’s life changed when she, completely by chance, discovered non-consensual photographs of her body on foot fetish website WikiFeet. They were cutouts and crops of the varying non-sexual, inoffensive images she had uploaded of herself on social media platforms throughout the years; one getting ice cream with friends; another a trip to the beach.
The photos uploaded leant into sexuality in a way that Blumenthal never intended them to; a bright sunny day with friends or an evening rehearsal quickly flipped into commodified, fetishised content. That is the basis of her one-woman show Feet Pics Aren’t Free, – the very topical issue of image-based sexual abuse (just this year, in Ireland, the act was deemed a crime).
Blumenthal enters stage right and immediately strips to underwear and (as we later discover) five pairs of socks. For 60 minutes, she, with the help of a projector, details the myriad emotions she felt when images of her body were stolen. She mentions the blistering lows and regular panic she feels based around the thought that someone, somewhere, could be following her every move.
She also pokes fun at the situation, ripping off socks to reveal another and singing show tunes to the hilt of absurdity. The only concern was that the show wasn’t entirely sure what it wanted to be – after school special, or razzmatazz comedy affair. That said, as a punter, one leaves with food for thought about two things: that being a woman is f**king heartbreaking at times; and that Blumenthal was made for the stage.
Continues at Smock Alley, as part of Dublin Fringe Festival, until Saturday, September 23rd