Manifesto for a Lipzinc revolution
Picture this: I am sitting in a dark auditorium. Awaiting what is sure to be the same story again. And sure enough, there he is, yet another actor dressed in black performing a one man show. As I drift in and out of consciousness, I ask myself: Where has all the excitement gone? My senses should awaken, not switch off. No matter how good his acting is, I cannot help but feel boredom. I have seen it all before. I look around at my fellow audience members. All, on appearance, elderly and upper-class apart from the odd actor who attends every show without fail, to “network”. No wonder everyone says it’s only for ‘posh people’. A strong sensation came over me: something is missing.
And this sensation grew into a need to make work that is both truthful to the artist and absolutely vital to the audience. I wanted theatre to be full of life with real people on stage - characters we do not often see explored. All races, genders and economic backgrounds. I wanted them in my audience too. So that my theatre reflects life, which is never only one thing - I vowed my shows would find the sadness in beauty, and the joy in disorder. And so, LipZinc Theatre was conceived. ‘Lip’ meaning the opening of the mouth, where words and feelings escape and let loose. ‘Zinc’ meaning the essential element to the body that we cannot live without. The shows will be vital and thirst-quenching. They will be volcanic. Diverse. Momentous. LipZinc was born kicking and screaming and she’s here to stay.
She is invading with a theatrical revolution. I urge you to join and take action immediately. Go forth into the countryside with your plays! Dance through marginalised areas! Sing in a supermarket! Put a clown show on in a primary school!
To hell with cheaping out - let's put the story first! Big casts, fabulous costumes, whatever your heart desires. Let me tell you: it is possible. Here are the rules for the LipZinc way of life:
1. Taboos. Show them. Explore them. Break them. No more sticking to the safe option. Let´s tell the tales untold.
2. Treat your show as a sensory experience. No dull moments allowed. This means strong visuals, unusual sound effects and electric writing. If your audience do not feel something, you have failed.
3. Capitalise on what theatre has to offer. What makes it better than film? It is temporary and exclusive. You have to be there in the moment. It is never the same. So, do something film can’t do! Interact with your crowd. LIVE. Make them part of the show. Keep it fast paced, exciting, and most importantly: unexpected.
4. Bring your work to a larger demographic. Put a show on in a council house. Perform in a field, a church, wherever your crowd is - go to them. Don´t wait for them to come to you.
5. Start with the heart. No relying on “topical issues” to get attention. If it does not speak to you, it will show in your work. Put the story first.
And there you are: five basic rules for a LipZinc-style theatrical revolution. Follow these and you will create an important, vital and unique experience.