Friday, 16 September 2011

Q&A with Bryony Kimmings …

Mother’s Ruin provides a spiritual home for queer performance renegades, outré comedy extravaganzas and fabulous show-offs in general. On Friday 23 September MR returns to Contact Theatre Manchester for a special event featuring adorable hostess Timberlina, avante drag artiste Dickie Beau, and most exciting of all for me, Bryony Kimmings’ ‘7 Day Drunk’ which has wowed and wooed audiences in Soho and Edinburgh and is now gracing your very own doorstep. I grilled Bryony about performance, booze and the gritty facts of life …

Tell us about your very first foray into performance?

I used to dress up in my mums skirts and heels in the back garden of our little council house and do the Tarantella for our neighbours aged 6. I think I must have been watching Top of the Pops as my mum said it had a strong Kate Bush vibe!!

Apart from that, after graduating I took a piece to a few festivals around the UK with some friends in a company. We were robot clones on a journey to save the world. Kind of cartoon live art… a bit rubbish but it certainly cut our teeth!

Edinburgh Fringe: is it the best gig in the world? What was the highlight?

The best gig in the world?! NO, the best gig in the world would be main stage at Bestival with Bjork on one side of me and David Bowie on the other doing some kind of triple mash up with some uber-keyboard rifts!

BUT it is certainly an amazing festival to be part of, always something to see, do, eat, run at, love or vomit onto. The highlight for me was quite simple… my favourite artist Taylor Mac coming to see my show. Felt like a doofus all the way through trying my best to stop myself screaming out “Hey Taylor! Thanks for coming man, loving your work!”

‘Sex Idiot’ took an STI test as a starting point, much like the piece by David Hoyle. Does your work need to be brutally personal? Do you think you could make art that was a complete fiction?

I think I CAN make work from complete fiction, I write stories, one day I would like to write a film.

BUT I think there is something more connective, visceral, appealing and endearing about a work that comes from the heart and soul of another human being, this is why I identify myself as a Live Artist, not a theatre maker or playwright.

I use my own stories to lube up other peoples recollection of stories and times in their lives, to begin exploring something I find (and hope others find!) interesting. I have no intention thus far to make things up in my own solo performance work… my next show is about other peoples stories, so stepping away from simply my boring life and moving towards others too, I guess as a natural progression!

Your new piece ‘7 Day Drunk’ is about the creative urges that come out of getting lashed. Do you have a love affair with booze and are pissheads just ruining it for the rest of us?

I don’t really know what this question means? I don’t have a love affair with booze, I think I have a normal young women’s relationship, slightly hazy at points, often worrying but not an addiction.

BUT I am fascinated with it as a social construct, as a habitual legal but fatal drug, as a blip in history and an amazingly fun but destructive past time. People should be more aware about the affects and what it does to people, fact. We all quaff it down without asking questions. Like SOMA in Brave New World!

Which other performers do you admire?

Currently I am hot for…


Amy Lame

Taylor Mac

Miranda July

Neil Hamburger

Dr Brown

Dan Canham

Concha Buika

Laura Marlin

Mixed bunch… I have art crushes a lot!

Quick fire round …

Milk or Martini?


London or Leamington Spa?


Gender or bender?

Both, man.

H&M or Harrods?

Harrods for glamour, H&M for me bits.

One night stands or one true love?

One true love of course, else all is lost!

Tickets for Mother's Ruin are available HERE and HERE.

Thanks to Bryony Kimmings and James Stanley.

No comments: