EDINBURGH 2023: Ange Laviopierre Q&A

Your Mother Chucks Rocks And Shells comes to Edinburgh in August

By: Jul. 10, 2023
Edinburgh Festival
EDINBURGH 2023: Ange Laviopierre Q&A
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BWW caught up with Ange Laviopierre to chat about bringing Your Mother Chucks Rocks And Shells to the 2023 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Tell us a bit about Your Mother Chucks Rocks And Shells

This show is what you would get if you blew up The Exorcist in the middle of a bad bout of insomnia brought on by internet poisoning, then glued it back together using pop culture.

On stage, I’m trying to get to sleep with the help of my brain (which you can hear), the internet (which you can also hear), and everything we find on the internet -  guided sleep meditation podcasts, ASMR YouTube channels, and Instagram quizzes about which “sleep animal" you are. (I’m a dolphin!).  When I do fall asleep, I dream of The Exorcist, but a deeply unhinged version of it. May contain traces of Scrubs, The Matrix, a mildly yet persistently hostile French inner monologue, and the true story of John Denver’s death.

Why would you say this is the show you’ve always really wanted to do?

When I wrote this show I decided to ignore any sense of what I was supposed to be making. I didn’t expect that to have such an impact on what came out, but it was massively freeing. The results were way weirder, and much more satisfying to perform because it  felt more honest. I realised I’ve spent a lot of energy in the past coming up with an idea and then adjusting it by however many degrees to be more palatable to my idea of a general audience. It might be a habit I’ve learned from my journalism career. Or just life.This year, if I wanted to put in piss sounds, and jokes about piss, then that’s what I did. It’s not an hour of piss gear, but that’s the example that springs to mind right now. It also feels like a deeply weird show is the best response to the world in 2023, which is itself strange beyond belief.

How have you designed the show as a move away from straight standup?

I got really hooked on the idea of twisting the plot of a well known story last year, when I rewrote Charlotte’s Web from 10 different angles (eg. Charlotte’s feet) for ACMS. Once I set out to retell The Exorcist, it blew off course from being straight stand up pretty quickly. I wrote what I thought was funny and still did that job, which turned out to be a blend of very theatrical storytelling and absurd sketch about internet & pop culture. I’ll write more stand up in the future, but I don’t think the form was equal to the task I’d set it this time. Anyway, as if you wouldn’t prefer an actual guided sleep meditation to material about one. 

Where else might we know you from?

If you’re Australian or a podcast nerd, you might know me from my work at the ABC, where I work as a journalist. I make a podcast about trends in pop & internet culture called Schmeitgeist. I’ve also brought three other stand up shows to Edinburgh Fringe over the years, and I’m the cello accompanist for an improv duo called the Bear Pack (Steen Raskopoulos and Carlo Ritchie). In general I’ve been a real pest at Fringe since 2016, so it’s possible you’ll just have an overall sense of dejavu.

What would you like the audience to take away from it?

I want people to recognise the strange parts of themselves they don’t always notice or show to the world in this show. Whether that’s their inexplicably hostile French inner monologue that tells them to watch The Exorcist right before bed, or hate-dreaming about Scrubs. If you have a messy, strange brain, which I think a lot of people do, this show is designed to keep you company.

Ange Lavoipierre’s new comedy show ‘Your Mother Chucks Rocks And Shells’ will be at the Underbelly – George Square Gardens – Wee Coo at 4.20pm from 2nd – 27th August (not 14th) for tickets go to www.edfringe.com

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