+3 Interview: Everything I See I Swallow

“Maisy is an exciting performer whose work explores the social, political context of sexuality in society, and I am really interested in the female sexuality aspect of her work and where it is going.”

WHO: Tamsin Shasha: Performer, Co-Creator, Producer

WHAT: “Everything I See I Swallow is a provocative examination of a mother/daughter relationship, set against a backdrop of shifting attitudes to empowerment, feminism and sexuality. In a world where #MeToo and #TimesUp have become rallying cries against female sexual harassment, how does a woman defend the objectification of her own body and the gaze from those around her? How are the lines drawn and how is the rope tied? Fusing theatre and aerial rope work with the erotic art of Japanese rope bondage, shibari, Swallow is an unusual and compelling encounter.”

WHERE: Summerhall – Demonstration Room (Venue 26) 

WHEN: 18:00 (60 min)

MORE: Click Here!

Is this your first time to Edinburgh?

I took my solo aerial show Bacchic to Guilded Balloon in 2007 – Based on The Bacchae, I co-wrote it with Jonathan Young, and it drew favourable comparisons with that year’s production of The Bacchae starring Alan Cumming. Subsequently, it was selected for the 2008 Caravan Showcase which was presented by Farnham Maltings, and toured nationally and internationally throughout 2008 and 2009. In a 4 star review The Scotsman said ‘Clever, highly effective, an original, remarkable & mesmerising reworking…Alan Cumming will have to work hard to better the hugely talented Tamsin Shasha.’

What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’18?

Since last year’s Fringe we have received funding from Arts Council England to take Everything I See I Swallow on tour, which is super exciting. Their support has allowed us to offer to pay what you can tickets at selected venues, and to develop a programme of free aerial and drama workshops which are targeted toward empowerment and self-confidence for young people. The grant is helping us to reach more audiences and particularly young women with our work, and we are really passionate about being able to give these groups a voice.

Tell us about your show.

Everything I See I Swallow is co-created and performed by myself and circus artist Maisy Taylor – Maisy is the daughter of a good friend of mine and I’ve followed her work for some time; Maisy is an exciting performer whose work explores the social, political context of sexuality in society, and I am really interested in the female sexuality aspect of her work and where it is going. I wanted to work with Maisy to explore a cross-generational project in an aerial context – Maisy and I sat down together and found that we have a lot of mutual interests; our combination of skill sets, influences and contrast in age had potential to be explored, we thought.

Steve Cowton, Head of Theatre Operations at The Lowry, has followed my work over a number of years – He asked me if I wanted to present something for Week53 in 2018 (The Lowry’s biennial festival of performance for the compulsively curious) and I contacted Maisy. The Lowry subsequently commissioned us to create a short piece of work around the theme “Coming of Age”. This was how the show was born, and we are really excited to share it with audiences in Edinburgh, where it will premiere at Summerhall.

We are excited by show’s potential and of our amazing creative team, who have supported us from the beginning. We want to encourage debate and provoke questions, we want audiences to come away with a more complex understanding about the issues raised, and to have a really honest conversation about the themes we highlight.

After our run at the Fringe we’ll be taking Swallow on a short UK tour, visiting venues including Jacksons Lane, The Lowry, Harlow Playhouse and Cornerstone Arts Centre – See our website for tour dates. We then hope to tour further, nationally and internationally.

What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?

1. Contra – Performed by Laura Murphy and directed by Ursula Martinez, playing at Summerhall from the 31st July – 11th August (not 1st).

“A feisty feminist circus and theatre show”, it’s “dark, witty and uncompromising” and interrogates personal, social and historical occupations of the female body – We saw it at Jacksons Lane earlier this year and loved it – It’s bold, brave and strong and we highly recommend.

2. This Time – Ockham’s Razor, playing at Saint Stephens Theatre from the 1st – 25th August (not 6th, 13th, 20th).

We love Ockham’s Razor and can’t wait to see their new circus show. They’re a fantastic aerial theatre company who should not be missed.

3. I’m a Phoenix, Bitch – Performed by Bryony Kimmings, playing at Pleasance from the 31st July – 25th August (not 12th).

Go see the awesome Bryony Kimmings in her powerful, dark and joyful work about motherhood, heartbreak and finding inner strength. She’s a brilliant performance artist and we’ve followed her work for some time.

4. Teach – Bread and Butter Productions, playing at The Space @ Surgeons Hall from the 2nd – 24th August (not 11th).

Directed by the awesome Helen Tennison who also directs our Swallow, this compelling solo show, written and performed by Matthew Roberts needs only one description: The lesson that changed his life. A school in struggle and strife. A government that uses a knife. We can’t wait to see it.