Post Show: Friday 27 April
Combining a Dr Strangelove – inspired performance with a daring forum for public conversation, Unexploded Ordnances (UXO) explores ageing, anxiety, hidden desires and how to look forward when the future is uncertain.
In their Situation Room, twelve audience members are invited to become a Council of Elders to discuss the global issues of the day, as the company weave in satirical insights and humour.
Adopting the characters of a bombastic general and ineffectual president, Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver of Split Britches lace this interactive piece with both playful urgency and lethargy, encouraging discussion about the political landscape. The pioneering theatre – makers see unexploded ordnances as a metaphor for the unexplored potential in elders and hope to uncover buried resources in us all.
Founded in New York in 1980 with Deb Margolin, Split Britches continues with the duo and solo work of Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw which spans satirical, gender-bending performance, methods for public engagement, videography, digital and print media, explorations of ageing and wellbeing, and iconic lesbian-feminist theatre.
LOIS WEAVER is an artist, activist and part time professor of Contemporary Performance at Queen Mary, University of London. She was co-founder of Spiderwoman Theater, WOW and Artistic Director of Gay Sweatshop in London. She has been a writer, director and performer with Peggy Shaw and Split Britches since 1980. Recent work includes: Miss America (2008); Lost Lounge (2009) and RUFF (2012). Split Britches’ collection of scripts, Split Britches Feminist Performance/Lesbian Practice, edited by Sue Ellen Case, won the 1997 Lambda Literary Award for Drama. In 2012, Split Britches was presented with the Edwin Booth Award by City University of New York in honor of their outstanding contribution to the New York City/American Theater and Performance Community. Her experiments in performance as a means of public engagement (publicaddresssystems.org) include the Long Table, the Library of Performing Rights, the FeMUSEm and her facilitating persona, Tammy WhyNot. Tammy
collaborated with senior centers in NYC on What Tammy Needs To Know About Getting Old and Having Sex which premiered at La MaMa ETC, NYC in November 2014. Lois was named a Senior Fellow by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics in 2014. She is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow and a Wellcome Trust Engaging Science Fellow for 2016-18.
PEGGY SHAW is a performer, writer, producer and teacher of writing and performance. She co-founded Split Britches and WOW in NYC. She is a veteran of Hot Peaches and Spiderwoman and has collaborated as writer and performer with Lois Weaver and Split Britches since 1980. Their collection of scripts, Split Britches Feminist Performance/Lesbian Practice, edited by Sue Ellen Case, won the 1997 Lambda Literary Award for Drama. In 2012, Split Britches was presented with the Edwin Booth Award by City University of New York in honor of their outstanding contribution to the New York City/American Theatre and Performance Community. Peggy has received three NYFA Fellowships and three OBIE Awards including an OBIE for Performance in 1987 for Dress Suits for Hire and in 1999 for Menopausal Gentleman. She was the recipient of the 1995 Anderson Foundation Stonewall Award and e Foundation for Contemporary Performance Theatre Performer of the Year Award in 2005. Her book A Menopausal Gentleman, edited by Jill Dolan and published by Michigan Press, won the 2012 Lambda Literary Award for LBGT Drama. Peggy was the 2011 recipient of the Ethyl Eichelberger Award for the creation of RUFF, a musical collaboration that explores her experiences of having a stroke. Peggy was named a Senior Fellow by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance in 2014, an award given to scholars, artists and activists affiliated with the institute and whose work illustrates the highest achievement in the field of performance and politics. She is the 2014 recipient of the Doris Duke Artist Award. In 2017, Peggy was awarded an honorary doctorate from Queen Mary University of London for her contribution to theatre and the institution.
‘Planes carrying nukes, the terrifying sound of life atomized into static noise: “Unexploded Ordnances (UXO)” feels very much of the minute…It is also wonderful to watch the rapport Ms. Weaver and Ms. Shaw have forged over shared decades.’ The New York Times [break]
‘One of the ingenious paradoxes and tensions of this piece is that the very thing our society needs more of — meaningful political dialogue — here becomes inimical to a thing we need even more badly: swift, decisive rescue.’ Gay City News [break]
‘I hope that more people have a seat at the table. That is really my definition of democracy and my definition of feminism.’ Split Britches’ interview with Slant Magazine
Unexploded Ordinances (UXO) by Split Britches will have its Irish premier at Live Collision International Festival 2018 following its’ US premier at La Mama Theatre, as part of Under The Radar Festival (NYC).
Live Collision and Bealtaine Festival join forces to bring UXO on national tour with two performance dates at Nun’s Island Theatre, Galway and The Factory, Sligo.
Duration: 1hr 10mins
Performed by Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw
Written by Lois Weaver, Peggy Shaw and Hannah Maxwell
Created in collaboration with Jo Palmer, Claire Nolan, Matt Delbridge, Alex Legge,
Edythe Woolley and Meghan Hodgson
Technical Design: Jo Palmer
Video Content Design: Claire Nolan
Design Consultant: Matt Delbridge
Sound Design: Vivian Stoll
Choreography Consultant: Stormy Brandenberger
Company Manager: Laura Petree
Producer: PAlex Legge
Development and Producing Supported by In Company Collective