I was intrigued to find out a little about this new theatre company and so posed some questions to their artistic director. Here’s their unedited answers in their own words.
1) How did the name of the company come about? Tell me the story behind the company?
Our company name comes from the play: The Bald Prima Donna. It is a line from the final scene in which communication breaks down once and for all and The Smiths and The Martins begin to hurl nonsensical abuse at one another. It rolls off the tongue, it’s memorable and it means something dear to us. The company evolved organically after an audition process for our initial show at The Network Theatre back in February of this year. We were all thrown together by fate and realised not only did we work well together, but also that this play deserves to be seen, and so Slip of the Lip was born, out of a true desire to bring not just The Bald Prima Donna but other stalwarts of the Theatre of the Absurd canon to life with truth and humanity at the very heart of what we do.
2) When did the company start?
Officially back in May following on from the success of our initial run at The Network Theatre. We headed to The Pit Bar at the Old Vic to put the world to rights over a glass of wine (or two, or three) and came out a fully fledged and newly formed company.
3) What gave you the idea to produce this particular show. What’s the story behind this production?
Our director Paul Hoskins studied the play at university, so when the opportunity came to direct an Ionesco show at The Network Theatre, he jumped at the chance to produce The Bald Prima Donna. It is a fascinating exploration into the frailties of language and of our daily failures to communicate born out of what is perhaps the greatest failure in communication ever known, World War Two. The play is so human in its madness; we so often say something and mean something else entirely. This production began back in February for a week long run and grew from there. We took it to Brighton Fringe and on to The Gatehouse followed by a run at The Cockpit this August. the process has been an organic progression and exploration of a script we adore and a production we are immensely proud of.
4) What’s the plans after this?
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin! Though in all seriousness, we have a few tricks up our sleeve yet. We’re thinking of perhaps taking the show on the road to regional theatres around the country, starting in Cornwall and working our way up. We are looking to bring a professional theatre producer on board to assist with the running of this endeavour and seeing where that takes us. After that – well – there are so many things to choose from. Les Chaises, Rhinoceros, The Birthday Party, the list is endless, all I can say is this isn’t the last you’ll be seeing of Slip of the Lip.
Two fun questions
Who do think is the most influential person in the world right now?
With the weight of Star Wars: The Force Awakens hanging over his weary head? J. J. Abrams. No doubt.
If you could have a “Super Power” what would it be?
Flight. Easy question. Or maybe what Matilda has…