BY SPLIT BRITCHES
Combining a Dr Strangelove – inspired performance with a daring forum for public conversation, Unexploded Ordnances (UXO) explores ageing, anxiety, hidden desires and how to look forward when the future is uncertain.
In their Situation Room, twelve audience members are invited to become a Council of Elders to discuss the global issues of the day, as the company weave in satirical insights and humour.
Adopting the characters of a bombastic general and ineffectual president, Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver of Split Britches lace this interactive piece with both playful urgency and lethargy, encouraging discussion about the political landscape. The pioneering theatre – makers see unexploded ordnances as a metaphor for the unexplored potential in elders and hope to uncover buried resources in us all.
Space: Cube, Project Arts Centre
Duration: 1hr 10mins
Festival Dates: Fri 27 + Sat 28 April 2018
Ticket price: €16/€14 concession
Start time: 7pm on 27 April + 8.30pm on 28 April
Live Collision Bundle Offer: See one headline show and one work in progress on the same night for just €22 (€18 Concession).
UNEXPLODED ORDNANCES is part of a bundle with A Salon of Trans Live Art (Friday) and FAULTLINES (Saturday) – see two shows in one night for €22.
Performed by Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw
Written by Lois Weaver, Peggy Shaw and Hannah Maxwell
Created in collaboration with Jo Palmer, Claire Nolan, Matt Delbridge, Alex Legge,
Edythe Woolley and Meghan Hodgson
Technical Design: Jo Palmer
Video Content Design: Claire Nolan
Design Consultant: Matt Delbridge
Sound Design: Vivian Stoll
Choreography Consultant: Stormy Brandenberger
Company Manager: Laura Petree
Producer: Alex Legge
Development and Producing Supported by In Company Collective
Founded in New York in 1980 with Deb Margolin, Split Britches continues with the duo and solo work of Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw which spans satirical, gender-bending performance, methods for public engagement, videography, digital and print media, explorations of ageing and wellbeing, and iconic lesbian-feminist theatre.
LOIS WEAVER is an artist, activist and part time professor of Contemporary
Performance at Queen Mary, University of London. She was co-founder of
Spiderwoman Theater, WOW and Artistic Director of Gay Sweatshop in London. She
has been a writer, director and performer with Peggy Shaw and Split Britches since
1980. Recent work includes: Miss America (2008); Lost Lounge (2009) and RUFF
(2012). Split Britches’ collection of scripts, Split Britches Feminist Performance/Lesbian
Practice, edited by Sue Ellen Case, won the 1997 Lambda Literary Award for Drama. In
2012, Split Britches was presented with the Edwin Booth Award by City University of
New York in honor of their outstanding contribution to the New York City/American
Theater and Performance Community. Her experiments in performance as a means of
public engagement (publicaddresssystems.org) include the Long Table, the Library of
Performing Rights, the FeMUSEm and her facilitating persona, Tammy WhyNot. Tammy
collaborated with senior centers in NYC on What Tammy Needs To Know About Getting
Old and Having Sex which premiered at La MaMa ETC, NYC in November 2014. Lois
was named a Senior Fellow by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics in
2014. She is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow and a Wellcome Trust Engaging Science Fellow
PEGGY SHAW is a performer, writer, producer and teacher of writing and
performance. She co-founded Split Britches and WOW in NYC. She is a veteran of Hot
Peaches and Spiderwoman and has collaborated as writer and performer with Lois
Weaver and Split Britches since 1980. Their collection of scripts, Split Britches Feminist
Performance/Lesbian Practice, edited by Sue Ellen Case, won the 1997 Lambda
Literary Award for Drama. In 2012, Split Britches was presented with the Edwin Booth
Award by City University of New York in honor of their outstanding contribution to the
New York City/American Theatre and Performance Community. Peggy has received
three NYFA Fellowships and three OBIE Awards including an OBIE for Performance in
1987 for Dress Suits for Hire and in 1999 for Menopausal Gentleman. She was the
recipient of the 1995 Anderson Foundation Stonewall Award and e Foundation for
Contemporary Performance Theatre Performer of the Year Award in 2005. Her book A
Menopausal Gentleman, edited by Jill Dolan and published by Michigan Press, won the
2012 Lambda Literary Award for LBGT Drama. Peggy was the 2011 recipient of the
Ethyl Eichelberger Award for the creation of RUFF, a musical collaboration that
explores her experiences of having a stroke. Peggy was named a Senior Fellow by the
Hemispheric Institute of Performance in 2014, an award given to scholars, artists and
activists affiliated with the institute and whose work illustrates the highest
achievement in the field of performance and politics. She is the 2014 recipient of the
Doris Duke Artist Award. In 2017, Peggy was awarded an honorary doctorate from
Queen Mary University of London for her contribution to theatre and the institution.
‘Planes carrying nukes, the terrifying sound of life atomized into static noise: “Unexploded Ordnances (UXO)” feels very much of the minute…It is also wonderful to watch the rapport Ms. Weaver and Ms. Shaw have forged over shared decades.’ – The New York Times. Full review here.
‘One of the ingenious paradoxes and tensions of this piece is that the very thing our society needs more of — meaningful political dialogue — here becomes inimical to a thing we need even more badly: swift, decisive rescue.’ – Gay City News. Full review here.
‘I hope that more people have a seat at the table. That is really my definition of democracy and my definition of feminism.’ Split Britches’ interview with Slant Magazine.
‘For me to be in a position to teach and encourage people, and women in particular, to become independent artists, which is what we consider ourselves, is a bit of an ethical dilemma for me because I don’t know how people are going to survive. And yet I still encourage that, because the strength of that or the strength that that gives you is an amazing thing. I know it’s a lot, lot harder than it was when we started out.’ Split Britches’ interview with The Interval. Full interview here.
*images credit Theo Cote