One girl, 273 cacti. LUCINDA

Posted on October 12, 2016 by Basement

Our blogger Jonty had a chat to Lizzie Morris, whose debut solo show Lucinda the Cactus Girl is opening at Basement next Tuesday.

What can we expect from the show?

Well, you can expect a lot of cacti to start, but also you can expect a fun-filled ride through the mind of our main character Lucinda. You can expect clowning, toothpaste, opera and an exercycle. It’s an exploration of escapism and based on the idea of creating your own world because the real world is boring.

Were there any particular experiences that inspired the show?

The first version of this was a two hander script that I wrote in the second year of drama school at Unitec, for a writing and directing elective, about a boy who fell in love in with a cactus. I kind of fell in love with the idea and expanded it and took out the male protagonist and replaced it with a female one. It’s also a little bit centred around my experiences dealing with anxiety and the idea of becoming so anxious that you couldn’t deal with the real world anymore, so made your own. It’s kind of grown from that again during the devising process but the essence of escapism still remains whilst maintaining a humourous tone.

How difficult was it tracking down 273 cacti?

Well, we haven’t actually got 273 yet, we achieved our boosted so we are going to have a shopping day very soon. But surprisingly people tend to own a lot of cacti, I think it’s because they are so low maintenance. So we are looking to have quite a hefty amount, the hard part is the logistics of picking up and transporting many (quite painful) cacti.

What have you learnt from developing your first solo show?

That it is incredibly important to have people around you that share the same vision and passion for the project. I’m so lucky to have Freya the director and Doug my muso that have been a massive part of the creative process. It’s also important to remember that during the devising process, things change and ideas reform, and you need to let that happen as a creative, “kill your babies” so to speak. Also it’s so important to give the project space to breathe when it needs it, to separate yourself to understand it better. and to I’ve also learnt that some cacti drop their spines in your hands if you touch them.

Lucinda the Cactus Girl is on in the Studio from the 18 – 22 Oct. Info and tickets can be found here. More of Jonty’s writing can be found on his blog.