What happens when the glass slipper doesn’t fit? Is it time to put a bullet in the princess’ head? In a savagely playful subversion of identity, Lecoq/LISPA-trained clowns, poets and storytellers Lizzy Shakespeare and Michelle Madsen upend beliefs and expectations in a fantastic game, using clown, spoken word and live art to create a genre-defying work which teases and provokes. Kill The Princess is at the Fringe for the month of August, The Fountain caught up with Lizzy to tell us more about the show.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting is that?
So exciting! We’ve been working on the show for nearly two years now, we’ve had a couple of really killer previews with The Party Somewhere Else festival at the Nottingham Playhouse and at CPT’s Calm Down Dear & we can’t wait to get it out at Edfringe. It’s been a long gestation period and a crazily explosive birth for this particular baby & the fringe is the perfect place for it to continue its journey.
TF: Kill The Princess certainly sounds interesting, what is the premise?
Kill The Princess is an exploration of gender through the lens of fairytale archetypes. That sounds really academic, but basically we’re two idiots trying to work out how we feel about femininity and masculinity by playing around with stories we were told when we were kids. It’s fun, comic & pretty stupid at times (in a great way!). But there’s also a much darker side to the content, we speak about the confusion and violence that occurs when we’re too wrapped up in trying to play the characters we’ve been told are the ‘right’ ones. When we’re denied the freedom to explore what it is to just be.
TF: What drove the project? Where did your influences lie?
Michelle (Madsen fellow co-creator and performer) and I met working on our friend Margarita Francesci’s fab project Pro-Active Dance. We bonded over a love of leotards and were both working on re-tellings to fairy-tales- trying to give them feminist endings. We started working together and began to get frustrated because it was so difficult to really make a truly feminist fairytale. So we plunged into this massive quest to unpick what these stories mean, how they’re put together, who tells them and what kind of effect their content has on our lives in 2019. We both love grunge & the Riot Grrrl movement so there’s a lot of that in there, but we’re also influenced by Jungian theory, some madcap clowns like Butt Kapinksi and artists like Philip Genty. It’s been a crazy ride and has taken us to some tricky personal places too.
TF: Have you been to the fringe before, is there anything you’re keen to see whilst in Edinburgh?
We brought a very foetal version of the show up last year for 3 dates with the FreeFringe and mainly battled with a projector screen (not featured in the final version). Michelle has been up a couple of times with her poetry panel show I’m Sorry I haven’t Haiku and hosted the poetry slam Hammer & Tongue. I brought a student production at the end of university, but this will be both of our first month long fringe experiences. We’re really excited about A&E Comedy’s Witch Hunt & Theatre Ad Infinitum’s The Odyssey.
TF: What are your future plans beyond this show?
We’re hoping to tour Kill The Princess over the next year and have a couple of new projects cooking away- an international collaboration with our Athenian contemporary looking at the nitty gritty of the ancient Greek myths and we will continue to work on our other baby; The Office Party For People Without An Office, which is an outrageous cabaret club night we host quarterly at VFD in London.
Lizzy Shakespeares new show Kill The Princess is at Heroes @ the SpiegelYurt for the month of August at 3:40pm daily. For tickets go to www.edfringe.com