What happens when the glass slipper doesn’t fit? Is it a cue to put a bullet in the princess’ head?
‘Go on, give us a kiss... it's for the sisterhood'
Can you be feminine & still be a feminist? What does acting like a man really mean? Where does our identity come from? Bait Theatre’s Michelle Madsen and Lizzy Shakespeare are looking for some answers.
Kill the Princess dissects all the questions we’ve ever wanted to ask about gender and stories, but couldn’t put into words.
The versions of fairytales we grew up with have been dragged into our everyday lives - we see them in every advert we’ve ever watched, for shampoo, tax incentives, job promotions, school textbooks, toothpaste, condoms and three piece suites.
We need new narratives but where do we start? The real secret is that it doesn’t matter if you remain heroically unshaven or not - these behaviours aren’t skin deep, they go right to the bone.
‘When we tried to make a show retelling fairytales for ourselves in the wake of the #MeToo movement, we got stuck,’ said Michelle. ‘Whatever we did with these stories, the women in them always seemed to end up screwed over. That’s not really what the original fairytales were about, but where did they come from? And why had they changed? Then I looked at my own behaviour, I thought I was empowered and in control but I keep acting out these ‘fairytale behaviours’ and seeing this everywhere. Words failed, which was pretty hard for me as a poet, we had to let our bodies do the talking.’
Lizzy added ‘I had this fear of my body changing and not understanding how to inhabit a new body, I just didn’t understand the sexual feelings that I had, what they were or how to act on them. How do I become an empowered woman by following the examples I found in Disney films?’
Madsen and Shakespeare playfully subvert our beliefs and expectations with stories about knights, princesses and dragons. There’s a bone rattling, semi-naked fight to the (almost) death and sex, mops and rock and roll. Centuries of civilising layers are peeled away to reveal the wild tales that make us.
Storytelling, clowning, spoken word and illusion combine In a genre-defying work that teases and provokes, Kill the Princess is a highly playful and visual exploration of 'fairytale' behaviours, gender roles and narrative. A visceral, touching and hilarious journey through a DIY punk garage dreamscape.
Lecoq/LISPA-trained artists Lizzy Shakespeare & Michelle Madsen met two years ago performing feminist street dance and began rehearsing in squats, bars and friends' front rooms before partnering with producer Roxanne Carney (Scottee & Friends), Cambridge Junction, Trestle Arts Base and Bathway Theatre Network.
‘Seriously challenging in the most ludicrously enjoyable way’ ★★★★ BroadwayBaby