Those Little Words (A Love Lap dance for a Mannequin)
This was the first performance I made when I got back into performace work after a four year hiatus. A lap dance for a mannequin, a love story between me and my plastic friend. Its about cliches and all those little words we can never quite get right while complicating ourselves in relationships. It’s about trying to get a plastic man to react. It’s the first time I made something physical, not starting with a piece of writing, although it’s still about words, stealing other people’s (Aretha Franklin, Ryan Adams, Snow Patrol etc..) It’s a short piece which I’ve performed at a few platforms and cabaret type nights. I’m planning to re-visit it soon…maybe in a little black dress and heels.
I Told It To A Mannequin (Mannequin Therapy)
Performed as part of the Fierce! festival in 2008, after it was selected as part of a voting process online. It’s Part live art, part therapy, part research for performance.
PART ONE (The Therapy Sessions) of I TOLD IT TO MANNEQUIN is participatory intimate experience that gives the opportunity for individuals to confess the words they wish they had said to someone through the gentle persuasion of a Mannequin Therapist. You are interviewed by Dr Millicent Milligan (me in a suit, heels and a posh voice) who then asks you to chose a Male or Female Mannequin. You are left alone in a room with them where you get to dress them up as you wish, suspend your disbelief and relish the words you never got to say as the Mannequin Therapist colludes in your fantasy and begins to talk.
PART TWO saw a three hour performance by two performers, the two mannequins in which the (anonymous) words from the Part One are re-formed and re-performed. These stories are interspersed with instructions from ‘Dr Millicent Milligan’ for the performers to ‘Tell It To A Mannequin’ live on stage.
I Told It To A Mannequin was the result of an obsession with mannequins, and an idea written with Fierce festival in mind. The concept originally came from a frustration in working in the customer service industry and want to say what I couldn’t. When it was performed, tried, tested…it became something else. Emotive outbursts and stories that had never been told. This project is something that stays with me (as well as the mannequins, dismantled in the spare room).
More about where The Mannequins (Henry and Betty) came from can be found here