An Interview with Lizzie Wiggs of TongueTied Theatre

In our third Ferment Fortnight interview we caught up with Lizzie Wiggs to talk guns, satire and masks.

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Briefly describe (for us) what your show is about?
Conversations Not Fit for the American Dinner Table
is a one man social and political satire on the state of the States, performed in demi-mask. The show focuses on the nature and power of political spin and also looks at gun control, the recent Trayvon Martin case and the ‘Stand Your Ground’ gun laws.

Now describe it in 3 words.
Funny, Terrifying, True.

Is it similar to what you’ve done previously or are you trying something new?
While we work with many performance styles, demi-mask is one we’ve worked with before and have been wanting to return to for some time. It is a performance style that I find fascinating and exciting to work with as it has an ability to highlight with razor sharp wit and insight the humanity within a situation. Mask is the perfect satirical and political tool as it elevates the characters and story to playful somewhat archetypal level, allowing us the freedom to be even more focused and cutting with our satire.  It’s a style that I hope to continue developing new ways of working with.

How will it make people feel? / What will it make people think about?
There are many different threads to the story that writer Sol Max has written. At the heart of it is a story of a mother who has lost her child and who seeks justice. It’s about political spin, greed, the manipulation of power, and about how powerless we are against our governments. Although it is set in America it rings eerily true with the way politics is conducted here in Britain. When I read the first draft of the script I had a chill run down my spin when I read the final scene.

What stage will it be at in its development when we see it in January?
The show will be in its early infancy at the January showing.  It will be our very first public sharing of the work after only a few weeks of development. We will be testing out the first couple of scenes and masks. 

What elements in particular are you looking forward to testing it out on Ferment audiences?
I’m looking to play with the convention of the actor’s transformation between characters and the relationship between the unmasked actor and the audience. The relationship and play with the audience is one of the main things we’ll be focussing on. 

What are your personal highlights of the line-up for January’s Ferment Fortnight?
I think the range of work that’s been programmed is incredibly exciting. I’m looking forward to Kindle Theatre’s double bill and Push Me, Pull You! by Apocalyptic Circus. 

TongueTied Theatre appear on Thu 24 Jan at 6:30pm as part of Ferment Fortnight with Conversations Not Fit for the American Dinner Table.

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