“SLG is a theatre company and production hub formed in 2005 by Artistic Director Rebecca Mordan (me!). We specialise in comedy and cabaret, and also love breaking the forth wall, and sneak literature and satire into most of our work! We formed to try and level the playing field a bit for women and other groups marginalised, stereotyped or ignored in the mainstream and to make high quality, accessible work for a broad range of audiences.”
What was your inspiration behind setting up the company?
“Frustration with the lack of diversity in roles, especially for women, especially in comedy and cabaret! I wanted to showcase all the hilarious female talent out there that wasn’t being shown on the panel shows on the telly. Our work has been hailed by Three Weeks as “the anarchic love child of French and Saunders and Hinge and Bracket” and I couldn’t be happier with that!”
“We had been working a lot in local radio, running projects with them, being interviewed by then on tour and so on. Then I became something of a talking head for Sky News and started to meet a few media types. These mingled in my head and the idea for Summer and Charlie as aspiring but pretty cringe-worthy local radio presenters and wanna-be telly stars was born. Getting actor Joel Daffurn onboard sealed the concept; he does a wonderful, hideous job of being a sort of young Richard Madeley with a MILF complex!”
What is the show about?
“It’s really about Summer and Charlie trying out different formats (radio play, guest interviews, physic readings) to see if they can get picked up from their local radio show to a telly slot. They are running a magazine show on a digital radio network so we can get away with them trying out lots of different sorts of programme segments! It’s about their relationship, their egos and vanity, and the struggles of their tech girl Pearl to keep the show from de-railing! It’s mostly lots of ways for Joel and I to look ridiculous as Charlie and Summer and for the audience to enjoy an affection laugh at radio and telly personalities and conventions.”
What was your vision for the production?
“That people should feel like they are at a live recording of a local radio show, that’s how it’s set up so please arrive happy to make sound effects and clap when the applause sign goes up!”
What other productions have you directed/starred/adapted/written?
“We’ve put together lots of other successful comedy and cabaret nights, including The Full Bronte! Literary Cabaret, Its Your Round! Cabaret Pub Quiz and The Riot Showgrrrrls Club. These have given us sell out runs at Edinburgh, national tours and seen us headlining at Glastonbury and Brighton festivals. With our grander hats on, I adapted an all-female version of Dracula with support from the mac, Birmingham, that touring nationally in 2014-16 and last summer we also produced an all female version of JM Barrie’s Peter Pan.”
Who inspires you?
“The artists I get to work with in SLG inspire me hugely, and luminaries like Joan Littlewood and Emma Rice. I’m constantly reading, the list of authors goes on and on…Sarah Waters, Daphne du Maurier, F Tennyson Jesse, Terry Pratchett, I could go on and on…and think music has been a huge inspiration too, Bowie, Bush, Kirsty Macoll, all storytellers of the first order. I honestly don’t two how to pick, I find myself in a constant state of elation at the talents of those around me! When I’m not enraged about the state of the world, swings and roundabouts…!”
“We were fortunate to have support from a funding stream for Cornish artists called FEAST and The Dukes, Lancaster also supported our R and D so we were spoiled with lots of playtime on the piece.. I drafted my ideas into a loose script, drawing on the format of cabaret in terms of creating segments that include games, songs and storytelling, all underpinned by daft situations and characters. Then we impro-ed and devised for a couple of weeks with me drafting and redrafting different versions of the script as we went. It still evolving of course, and every audience changes it, it’s a lot of fun in that way. The only more formal section is a section called the Dirk and Daphne Chronicles that was written for us by Nick Underwood and Joannah Tincey of Two Bit Classics fame. This is a delightful skit on a radio 4 style series, sort of a crime drama meets the Archers, and this is fairly well polished in terms of how we perform it, rather than theft rest of the show that is much more impro based and responsive. It’s all just different sorts of comedy really, it’s a lot of fun to be in and hopefully to watch!”
What plans do you have for the future?
“After this tour we’ll be working on a larger, mid-scale tour of Peter Pan, like the one we did for Dracula. We’ve also been taking our comedy and literary shows around libraries in Cornwall for the last two years and we’ve love to bring them up to the rest of the South West. We are passionate about libraries and the permissive, relaxed spaces they providing for art work; you always get a fun-loving, intelligent audience in a library!”
Where can people find out more about you?
TWITTER: ScaryLittleGs (twitter)
The show will be performed in Bath and Bristol, on the following dates:
- Mission Theatre, Bath – Wednesday 25th January – www.missiontheatre.co.uk/
- Alma Tavern, Bristol, 10th February – www.almatavernandtheatre.co.uk/