Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Sex Dramaturgy Saves The World: Betty Grumble @ Edfringe 2016

Grumble: Sex Clown Saves the World
4th - 28th Aug 2016
Grotesque and gorgeous surreal showgirl and world-famous performer Betty Grumble arrives in Edinburgh with the underground show of the festival. 

Experience the queen of the obscene in an odyssey of deep disco dissent. Witness her rage, her desire and her internal organs in a shamanic striptease that is 'part theatre, part comedy, part dance, part sordid burlesque and a whole lot of social commentary'

What was the inspiration for this performance?

My inspiration for GRUMBLE: Sex Clown Saves The World comes from a desire to push back against a world that tells us there is only one way of being. I am inspired by nature’s harmony and solidarities, magic and fertile theatres. I am also spurred on by histories of queer and feminist performance art and my coming out as an ecosexual.

Is theatre still a good space for the public discussion of ideas?  

I believe that live performance spaces are sacred places for congregation and connection. I believe in storytelling as as ancient gathering around a primal fire. 

Live shared experience can transgress, expose, activate and enlighten. Theatre can divide and galvanise, invent and inspire bodies to move outside their 'normal' selves. To quote Cesar A. Cruz (sic) It can disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. 

How did you become interested in making performance?

Making performance interested me as an exhibitionist and sucker for a party. The world of drag, burlesque and cabaret was
comforting and motivated me to challenge my own identity and burgeoning politics . It allowed me to experiment and fail tremendously, to feed my wild woman energy and meet like-minded spirits. It was also a survival mechanism and un-suicide note.

Was your process (for creating GRUMBLE) typical of the way that you make a performance?

GRUMBLE is kind of a collage of new work and work that I have been playing with for a few years. The show is a genre-smash, I move in between mediums and strategies and rummaging through a physicalised 'Glamour-Trash Spell'. I have always been influenced heavily by music and text. 

I approached this full length work as a chance to assemble past and present Grumblings into a format that united my history of Betty Grumble with a new way of existing on stage. Simply by playing with duration I am allowing my performativity to extend beyond the parameters previously expressed through shorter works. For Betty to do a whole one-woman work is a subversion in itself.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

I hope the audience will experience solidarity, a brain, heart and spirit massage, laughs, grumps and Grumblings. The work is about putting ourselves in a state of flux, of open nerves and sensation, of connection and magic.

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

I consider the work autobiographical. As much as Betty Grumble exists as an avatar she is a window into my lived experience. Here the hyper-real is used to describe the real world and I have engaged with the grotesque and earnest, sincerity and spectacle in order to create a world where everyone can GRUMBLE.

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