Shamira Turner and Eugénie Pastor of She Goat tell us about The Undefinable running at Camden People’s Theatre this December.
What can audiences expect from The Undefinable?
We wanted to make a show that would feel like a beacon and give voice to the love stories and experiences that are important to our lives, but we find to be underrepresented and sometimes misrepresented in more mainstream media.
What we’ve created is a DIY late night radio show that seems to be hosted by these two dudes in a tangled, co-dependent, tender, and hard-to-define relationship. They play live original compositions and unlikely cover songs on a array of instruments from flute to electric guitar, there’s steamy love letters translated, fan fiction, coffee-making, weird dancing, shameless double denim, and talk radio earnestly, playfully and inquisitively figuring out love in the in-between; love that doesn’t have language yet.
Can you tell us a little about She Goat, and how you came to be working together?
We met collaborating within Little Bulb Theatre, where we’re both associate artists. From day one we were writing songs together, sharing a bunk bed in a shack in Seasalter, and being continually mixed up for one another. Turns out we look disconcertingly similar. We eventually decided to lean into that heavily and created a gig theatre show about being doppelgängers and all the peculiar sensations that brings. She Goat was born in 2015 with that first show DoppelDänger: a Baroque-pop exploration of dangerous doubling. We’ve worked together and lived together on and off over the past 10 years and in many ways are continuing to figure out how to grow up together. Our work always has degrees of the personal and sneaky autobiography, mucking around with gender and how to inhabit the female form onstage, and playing live music with extravagant multitasking.
Music is a really important part of the work you create. Are there any particular songs which have inspired The Undefinable?
A genre-spanning rainbow of tunes has inspired and informed the show (too many to include or investigate!) We’ve got unusual found love songs, original compositions, and some irresistible classics in idiosyncratic remixes.
One such song is Say Something Stupid by Nancy and Frank Sinatra. We usually write our own harmonies for our music, but we love doing surprising covers of things. And we couldn’t resist getting our chops around this haunting family harmony. The lyrics capture the sensation of language being a definitive act that shifts things or breaks a spell. That’s interesting to us, because part of what we’re investigating in the show is how words and terminology can serve us or suffocate us in the pursuit of expressing allusive feelings. Feelings that don’t quite fit in the established templates we see in most mainstream fiction media.
Who’s your favourite late night radio host to listen to?
Our new favourite is brand new on the scene: Hannah Peel on BBC Radio 3 ‘Night Tracks’. I (Shamira) worked with Hannah on a devised show – Brighton Rock by Pilot Theatre, where Hannah was composing, and playing a small army of synths. Her sonic impulses mesmeric and she’s someone you can have a ruddy good chat with: top radio host skills.
What makes Christmas the perfect time of year to perform this show?
There is something special about the end of the year. It can be magical, with found-and-made traditions. But it’s also a vulnerable, intense and potentially lonely time of year. The Undefinable is full of the things we crave from a festive show – but without the usual heteronormative/religious/fairytale trappings: live music, love letters, dancing, little lights in the dark, celebrations of community and chosen kinship, tenderness and heaps of hot coffee for those cold nights. For She Goat, playing at one of our favourite radical theatres and sharing a show we’ve made about how to reclaim and reimagine love stories – that’s the winter holiday dream.
The Undefinable is on at Camden People’s Theatre 10th to 21st December (Tue-Sat 9pm), More information and booking here
#TheUndefinable, shegoat.co.uk, Photo credits: James Allan.