Guest Blog Post: Stumble Trip Theatre are BACK and are talking all things Frills and Spills

Stumble Trip are back at CPT with their new show Frills and Spills on 27-29 Feb, 9pm. Click here for more information. This energetic show focuses on power, privilege and class and will be performed through some rather joyous clowning. 

In this blog post, Chloe and Grace the creators and performers of Frills and Spills are interviewed about their new show, what inspired them and why the show is important for audiences right now. 

Stumble Trip Theatre was created by Chloe and Grace in 2017 when they met at the Jacques Lecoq School, Paris.

Their first show ‘Heather and Harry’ toured in the UK and internationally. “Boundlessly energetic Lecoq trained clowns… create a theatrical experience that is truly unique” (Three Weeks). They are currently developing their second show Frills and Spills – an “excellently timed, infectiously funny” (AYT) cabaret touring the UK in 2020/21. Catch Frills and Spills at Camden People’s Theatre 27th-29th February or at Brighton Fringe 2nd-3rd May. 

So what is Frills and Spills about?

The show focuses on power, privilege and class. We had been mulching over the idea of creating a show about privilege for a while. When you work in the arts and spend your days prancing around rehearsal rooms, wearing wigs and choreographing strange dances with your best friend you are very aware of privilege. Especially coming from backgrounds that have allowed us to create a life in the arts. It was something that came up in our conversations a lot. Our first show ‘Heather and Harry’ included the talented musician Laila Woozeer, who is writing a novel ‘Not Quite White’, who further opened our eyes to what privilege meant. So it was something we wanted to research and explore. 

How did the characters come about?

Around that time we had been performing for London College of Fashion, wearing the costumes created by their wonderful MA students and were lucky enough to meet Mady Berry. Mady had made these incredible costumes which for us evoked an absurd world of the highly privileged. We used these costumes as vehicles for creating dark clown characters Lady Frills and her loyal maid Spills, allowing us to dig into the world of class, power and privilege. 

Have you performed Frills and Spills prior to this run at Camden People’s Theatre?

We initially created ‘Frills and Spills’ for Brighton Fringe 2019 and whilst we had a lovely time romping around Brighton Spiegeltent we knew the show was only functioning on a surface level. We then received Arts Council Funding permitting us to do residencies at Shoreditch Town Hall & with you at Camden People’s Theatre collaborating with some amazing artists such as Peta Lily, Rubyyy Jones, Koko Brown, James Oldham and our amazing director Georgia Murphy. 

Georgia directed and helped devise Ryan Lane’s ‘Ryan Lane will be there now in a minute’ which we loved so we were so happy and grateful to have her on board. We totally unpicked the show, killed a lot of babies (so to speak) and created the new and improved ‘Frills and Spills’ which debuted at the Wardrobe Bristol at the beginning of this month. The Bristolian crowds were absolutely delightful and we can’t wait to see what London makes of the devilish Frills and Spills. 

Why do you feel the show is relevant and important?

I think privilege has become such a buzzword at the moment and it is often shrouded in misunderstanding, blame and shame. We wanted to unpick it in an absurd and entertaining way, making a mockery of ourselves of the current climate and system. Our ACE funding also allowed us to run group discussions on privilege at PLATF9RM in Brighton with our amazing friend and writer, Sunetta Kiarie. These were insightful, challenging and felt really necessary.