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Interview | Natasha and Chloe, artistic directors of The Local Lesbians

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Interview | Natasha and Chloe, artistic directors of The Local Lesbians

Next up on my local artists interview segment are Natasha and Chloe, the artistic directors of Local Lesbians, a production company focusing on telling lgbtqia+ stories, headed by some Aussie lesbians. We had a chat about their current work Lesbian Love Stories and here's what they had to say...

Interview | Natasha and Chloe, artistic directors of The Local Lesbians

VIRAG: Your work Lesbian Love Stories is a concert-style cabaret performed by three local lesbians and a pianist. What inspired the creation of this work?

Natasha: Chloe and I turned 'An Old Fashioned Love Story' from Lippa's musical, The Wild Party, into a duet and performed it together a few times, for a laugh. It's a fabulous piece about a lesbian who is looking for her own love story, and details a few of the stereotypes which are found within the queer comminuty. I think it was after the third time we performed it, that we actually got to chatting about the fact that there weren't any (or very many) lesbian shows on stage - particularly not ones that we related to, or that normalised same sex relationships. Chloe and I have been quite privileged in the sense that we have been able to live openly and honestly, but are aware that there are many others who are still unable to do so. Because of this, we decided to create our own piece.

VIRAG: As someone who predominantly works in the youth arts engagement realm and in creating conceptual theatre, I've always been intrigued as to how one creates a cabaret, how all the puzzle pieces are formed and fit together. What was the creative process like?

Chloe: Usually when creating a cabaret we'd start with the music. We'd put together the best spotify playlist in the land, which would consist of a bunch of songs we wanted to sing, and add others for light and shade/vocal variation. Once that was done, we'd string them all together with some dialogue surrounding a central theme.

This was a bit of a weird one, because we were dealing with other people's stories - so we almost approached it the other way around. Tash and I read through each story that was sent to us several times, before deciding on a song that could accurately represent or further the emotion of said story. This obviously slowed the process down quite a bit, but we really wanted to ensure that each moment would land correctly while also maintaining ebb, flow, and interest for the audience...which was honestly quite tricky.

Interview | Natasha and Chloe, artistic directors of The Local Lesbians

VIRAG: You've performed this show previously at RPAC and Melt Festival. Has your show evolved since those iterations? Is that something that you set out to do? And if not, is that something that you'd like to do?

Natasha: Yeah, the show has evolved quite a bit - particularly post RPAC. The first time you perform something is always a bit of a test. There were loads of things that (thankfully) worked, and a fair few moments that we realised needed a little more padding out. We extended the show from 45mins to an hour for the Brisbane Powerhouse season, and got a little braver with our treatment of the stories and musical choices - which was a lot of fun!

Chloe: Preparation for Metro Arts has taught us a fair bit too, as we've had to do a very quick recast. While we spend a fair amount of time on stage telling other women's stories, the writing was (and is) very much us - filled with bits of banter and musical choices that play into our individual strengths. Gaining a new cast member has required us to tweak some elements in the show, in order to better fit our new performer. This process has really shown us that LLS will continue to evolve and grow, depending on who we're working with.

Natasha: We have got a few other segments we'd like to add as well, but feel like it might have to wait until we can afford to tour with an all girl band. How good would that be?!

VIRAG: Lastly, how can we support you and your work?

Chloe: Follow us on social media, share our page/videos (or a story), and if you can - pleeeeeease buy a ticket. We have a show coming up later in the year (to be announced soon), and a really cool community project that will be happening in October, so keep those eyes peeled!

Natasha: Funding would be cool too. Any takers?


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