In this blog, Grace Murdoch, Director and co-founder of Cheap Date, writes about the story behind Dirty Words, the early days of Cheap Date and what you can expect from a show exploring the filth, fun and aftertaste of our everyday interactions
Catch Dirty Words on Thursday 7 March at 7.15pm as part of Sprint 2019. Click here to find out more.
I’m Grace Murdoch, Director and co-founder of Cheap Date, we are what you’d call a combined arts company or so I’m told. What that means is we are a comedy, dance/physical theatre company who also use other mediums including film, music, clowning… the list goes on. We base ourselves out of the wonderful Cornwall, and have done since 2013/14, when the company was founded. We’re known for embracing the ‘nosy neighbour’ in all of us and taking the everyday elements of life and exploring them in a sketch based, exploratory style. ‘Dirty Words‘ is our 3rd full-length piece and came about for lots of reasons, which I’ll go into a bit more in a minute.
To give you more of a flavour of what we do here’s a bit about our previous shows.
‘How We Lost It’ in 2015/16 gained the company a reputation for personable, hilarious, honest work through dance, speech and sound. Touring the UK and featured at Edinburgh Fringe 2016 with roaring success including a feature in the British Comedy Guide.
‘Little Women Big Balls’ 2016/17 a look at success and failure through flying balls, sports commentary, 6-year-old sports days and dancing netballs. This work ended up have its shining moment touring Sweden to rural audiences across the country, with even non-English speaking audiences thinking we were mad but fab!
So, back to ‘Dirty Words’ – I had been pondering a show exploring communication for a while and was wondering under the Cheap Date umbrella what that meant. I enjoy playing with what we socially accept as right vs. wrong so taking what we see as ‘dirty’ and exploring that seemed like a good place to start. We always work with honest stories coming directly from the performers so for this it was about looking at my own dirty words and also Seamas’ who is the muso/actor in the piece. We create work in a devised style so we spat out every topic, area, element of communication and language we could think of, with the help of our associate director Kyla (who’s one to check out with her company, Trifle Gathering and their upcoming show ‘Endless’.)
We had everything from non-verbal communication to technology, isolation, tone, pitch, truth, lies, literature/stories, swear words, dirty talk the list goes on. But what became clear was the need to embrace a wide group of peoples dirty words and to be brutally honest about our own experiences. So for me it’s about winning and being successful, and for Seamas, well you’ll have to come and see the show to find out! In terms of representing beyond ourselves the use of the films smattered through the show became our tool to explore your dirty words, your most hated and most loved.
Alongside all of this at the early days of concocting the show concept, I was working on an educational project where a young lady in the group was profoundly deaf, she was constantly standing behind me and signing to her friends. I was unable to communicate directly to her and had to do so through an interpreter which I found very indirect. I decided to go to night school and do my level 1 in British Sign Language. Now, I’m dyslexic and so having the ability to begin learning a physical language was amazing and I read it all as choreography as well as a physical language. In a show this evolved into how do we communicate a show about communication in an accessible way, which resulted in use experimenting with accessibility in lots of different way throughout the piece.
Dirty Words is a play and exploration of what is naughty and nice, what we do deem as acceptable or wrong. Admitting and reflexing on our own communication and language, and asking yourself what is your dirtiest word?
Come and have a laugh, ponder and one night stand with Cheap Date at Camden’s People’s Theatre on Thursday 7th March 7.15pm.