Marie set up District Theatre Company with Christian Loveless in early 2019 out of endless tube conversations on the state of British theatre, politics and Alan Partridge.
The work is political, with jokes, and tries to always live in the grey area. We like contradictions, happy rage and teary silliness and jokes that come out of being really pissed off.
Andy Whyment, Artistic Director of Squint Theatre, said of 'we don't have to do this' , the company's first show:
“'we don’t have to do this' is an essential look at power and powerlessness in one of the most extraordinary political moments in British history. It is playful, political and honest... a fascinating piece.”
Andy Whyment, Squint Theatre
we don't have to do this
With an initial R&D and sharing in March, we don’t have to do this came out of our horror at the British political meltdown in the face of Brexit.
We were disillusioned and angry and didn’t know what impact one person - or two people - could actually have. We did know however that we wanted to explore the confluence of performance and activism, and what happens when the lines start to blur.
We were tired of apathy, we wanted people to take to the streets, but to do that we realised we probably had to do it ourselves. So we took the 29th March Brexit deadline as a challenge, and set ourselves the goal of stopping Brexit - in 30 days.
Every day we went to Westminster, holding up a giant banner that read 'BE BRAVE WE DON'T HAVE TO DO THIS'. We were invited into Parliament, had pints in the Strangers Bar, became best friends with Steve 'Stop Brexit' Bray, got on TV, got in the Guardian, went to both the People's Vote march and the Brexit Betrayal rally, and had hundreds and hundreds of conversations with people from both sides.
And, on the 29th March, Brexit didn’t happen. We stopped it? Did we stop it?
We didn’t stop it. It’s happening.
'we don’t have to do this' explores the performance of activism and the activism of performance. Part protest; part tragi-comedy; part visceral dissection of power, political structures and our relationship to them: it is a show that takes a stand. And urges other people to take one too.
The Town held up a microscope to 21st Century British suburban life, exploring love, loss, nationhood and our fragile humanity, with bunting and scones, and a soundtrack from Robbie Williams, Hubert Parry and Kool and the Gang.
Both hilarious and heartbreaking, it followed the twists, turns and intersects in the lives of the inhabitants of a small, unknown but somehow familiar, town, and had it's premier at Drayton Arms Theatre in September 2019.
Cast and crew:
Dir. Júlia Levai
Development continues with a tour in the works for 2021.
THE Future's Not what it used to be
Our third play, The Future's Not What it Used to Be, is a comedy about impending doom.
Taking the Mercer's Doomsday Pageant from the mid 15th Century and cult 1970s dystopian thriller DOOMWATCH as starting points, it examines our relationship with our past and our past's relationship with our future.
This is small town British life, in the shadow of the apocalypse.
We're currently writing, with regular collaborator George Seymour from our own real life dystopian quarantines via Zoom, WhatsApp and GoogleDrive.
When we are allowed to perform again, if we're allowed to perform again, we will preview it in 2021.