It is August which only means one thing – it is Camden Fringe time! Over the next few weeks we are chatting to acts that are performing at the festival and finding all about their show and what they would call this years iconic Camden Fringe Pigeon! Today we speak to Shea about the play By The Light Of The Moon.
Date: 4th & 5th / 6th August
Location: Aces and Eights
Hello! Tell us about yourself?
Hey! I’m Shea, An American ex-pat living in the UK. I work between London, LA and NYC as an interdisciplinary performing artist, educator, and practitioner. I’m currently an Associate Artist at Project Phakama and Artistic Director of Indigo Arts Collective. I did my MFA in Acting at East 15 Acting School, a MA in Contemporary Performance Practice at the University of East London and my BFA in Theatre Performance at Tulane University in New Orleans. When I’m not making performance art and hopping from city to city, I’m working on my PhD, baking cookies and reading books with my cat.
How did you come up with the name of your show that your taking to the Camden fringe?
The poetry of Edward Lear features prominently throughout the play, and one of his poems, The Owl and the Pussycat has a line, “hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, they danced by the light of the moon…” The juxtaposition of the whimsical world of Lear’s poetry and the reality of our main characters’ circumstances is striking, and so framing the play within this innocent, romantic image serves to underscore the tragedy of our story.
Tell us a little bit about your style of show?
The piece is a one-act one-woman drama that takes place in a single location. Our main character is sometimes an unreliable narrator and the sequence of events and function of time are somewhat unclear, so the audience has to piece together events as the show goes on and make their own determination about what’s real and what’s imagined.
What will your set be about?
The piece focuses on themes of mental health, incarceration, shame, and the institutional suppression of the female voice. It’s historical fiction but is based on the real experiences of several different women that I combined into one. Even though the events of the play are distinctly “in the past” the story resonates in unexpected ways, particularly for a society that’s coming out of a period of confinement and isolation.
We find Lila alone in a hospital for the criminally insane in 1928. Abandoned by her family, society, and her only friend in the asylum, she is forced to face her deepest secrets and the dark reality of the events leading up to her imprisonment.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?
Alice by Anegada Theatre, Kites by Lip Zinc Theatre, All This Must Pass by Free School Lunch Theatre
I love female-led theatre that explores history and belonging, so I’m excited to check these out!
What advice would you give to others who want to perform at Camden Fringe next year?
This will be my first time taking a show to the Camden Fringe, but so far it’s been a great experience! I’d say being prepared with all of your promotional copy and marketing materials ahead of time is a big help, and being clear about what your show is about and who it’s for. This is a great space for testing out material and there’s so much variety in the festival so don’t be afraid to bring big ideas.
What are your favourite things about London?
I’m from New York, so I appreciate that there’s always something new to do/try in London. I love theatre and food, so the quality and variety of both is something I really enjoy!
What are your three favourite things about Camden?
The variety of tasty vegan spots, walks along the canals and all of the colourful, eclectic shops.
Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?
*Don’t have a great answer for this one since I’m not a comedian*
Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?
I think Viola Davis is brilliant and I’d love her to watch the show and give me some feedback. I feel like she’d have some great tips! Are you listening, Viola? Please come !
The iconic image of the Camden Fringe is the Pigeon – if you could call this years pigeon a name to represent its style what would it be and why?
Peter the Pigeon- I have a feeling he’s a sensible gentleman by day, but party Pigeon on the weekends when he goes to check out great theatre in his funky hat and sunglasses.
If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?
And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?
heart-wrenching, raw, impactful