Buzzcut: Double Thrills continues to deliver a heavy dose of live art, experimentation, current and provocative work this Autumn (Nov – Dec) with performers from across the UK (and beyond) married with Glasgow and Scotland based artists.
Buzzcut: Double Thrills presents
Eilidh MacAskill - STUD / Sh!t Theatre – Letters to Windsor House
Wednesday 16 November 2016
7pm | £8 (£6) + £1 booking fee
Box office: 0141 352 4900
Based on a true story, Letters to Windsor House revolves around Sh!t Theatre founders Rebecca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole who live together in a council flat in North London. This trademark tongue-in-cheek performance has Becca and Louise turn detective, uncover evidence, and the name of a tenant they are still looking to trace (Rob Jecock). They explore what happens when you fall prey to unscrupulous landlords and what can be discovered by opening up a pandora’s box of other people’s mail (which you can do, under certain circumstances, via a loophole in the law).
How did you become interested in making performance?
We both went to Queen Mary University of London, where you are taught to be a homosexual, or at least to pass convincingly. We were also taught by some inspirational women like Jen Harvie and Lois Weaver. Whatever happened in our earlier lives to drive us to making performance is probably a classic combination of too much and not enough love. When we get sad, our manager Jen Smethurst just applauds us and that helps.
What was the inspiration for this performance?
The show is based on our real life flat, a shitty 2 bedroom-but-used-as 3 bedroom in a council block called Windsor House in North London. We had always received old tenant letters in every place we had lived, but at Windsor House as soon as we moved in we received more than ever. There was obviously a high turn around of Windsors. The show is us tracing the stories of some of these tenants, whilst the housing crisis implodes around us.
Is theatre still a good space for the public discussion of ideas?
Yes, but we prefer gifs.
Was there any particular approach to the making of the show, and does this reflect your 'usual' approach'?
The show was written over almost two years, including all the semi-legal stalking of ex-tenants, political research, workshops with community groups including homeless group Streets2Homes, mixed generation renters and vulnerably housed teenagers, all happening within the changing nature of our own home and living relationship. But last year we wrote Women’s Hour in 3 weeks. So it changes.
What do you hope that the audience will experience?
A profound revelation about the fabric thin, tissue-like nature of housing security. But failing that some laughs and some love. To be honest, we've heard even your artists live in castles in Glasgow so maybe our tales from the deep shit depths of the London housing crisis will be irrelevant to you.
What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?
We spent a long time working on how to communicate truth; we needed them to believe if-this-is-true-so-is-all-this because some of the things we discovered about the past tenants of Windsor House and even our landlord were so strange or outrageous, they could appear fabricated. So we worked a lot on getting the audience to believe us, and part of that strategy involved the in depth oversharing of information about our flat and our relationship.