Colin Hambrook talked to Julie McNamara, about her latest piece of theatre, due to be performed at Theatre Workshop in Edinburgh as part of the Degenerate Festival 2005.
How does Pig's Sister follow on from the harrowing yet hilarious Pig Tales?
Pig's Sister is a macabre and surreal piece focusing on 2 inmates and a dead body abandoned in a care home for the weekend whilst the staff go on a shopping spree. Tales of the unexpected meets Film Noir and follows the style of the previous show: Pig Tales, in that it is also interactive theatre with Film.
In this production we meet Pig in middle age, visiting a care home for respite from his/her busy life as a nightclub bouncer. But the care home is not all that it was advertised to be and Pig's meeting with Sissy, a resident for 45 years, becomes a bitter fight for survival. The play has been described as chilling in the extreme.
It is written from my own experience of being left in care for a while at the age of two with my older sister. It is about the choices we make when we are faced with pivotal moments in our lives. Bad things happen to good people, but what do those people do with their experiences? Pig and Sissy chose very different pathways, the one dealing with demons from the past by moving into denial and fantasy, the other insistent that truth will out.
Does Pig's Sister retain the same personal / political edge? Are there new directions in this piece of writing?
All the characters in my work have evolved from the dark landscapes of my past experiences and imagination. Indeed they are aspects of myself, frozen in a wounded past and searching for solutions. It is political in that once again I am confronting the audience with their own discomfort around gender ambiguity and psychic pain. I am also challenging the myths central to fundamental Christianity that have found their way into children's faerie stories. I have a brief rap in the show called Snow White and the Seven Whores, which gives the audience a completely different take on an old theme.
What plans have you for Pig's Sister after Pig and Sissy have done their level best to scandalize Edinburgh?
The show has been booked for Adelaide's FEAST Festival, following the success of Pig Tales, which toured there last year and was described as
The Jewel in the crown of this festival… (dB Magazine) I am also in negotiation with Oval House Theatre in South London and am in search of a central London venue to bring home the bacon!
Pig's Sister by Julie McNamara, directed by Jessica Higgs
In association with Theatre Workshop, Degenerate 3
Tales of the unexpected.
Two moulding old inmates and one dead body abandoned in a care home in a macabre tale of identity, survival and kippers.
Pig and Sissy have opted out of the weekly shopping spree in the hope of time alone. But being alone may prove dangerous. A comic and surreal landscape emerges where Every woman for herself becomes the order of the day.
Julie McNamara's roller coaster sequel to her internationally acclaimed one woman show Pig Tales!(Critics Choice, The Times T2 and Sunday Telegraph)
Pig's Sister stars Hazel Maycock and Julie McNamara, Visuals by Caglar Kimyoncu (Director of LDAF Disability Film Festival), set design by Jo Paul.
16 - 20 August 2005 at Theatre Workshop, Hamilton Place, Edinburgh.
Show starts at 8 pm
Box Office: 0131 226 5425
Further details: www.juliemc.com