“Skeletons, peas, lentils, selkies, snail gods, giants, terrible kings, terrible fathers, murder, cunning old women…” Lizzie Milton’s list of what to expect from her new play Heroine is an extensive, intriguing and fantastical shopping list of fun. Read what she told us about her play, her love of folklore and a very special fish, then book your tickets!
The world premiere production comes to VAULT Festival from 4 to 8 March 2020.
Heroine is a storytelling play that takes a journey though global folklore seeking an answer to some important questions, like:
Where can you find love when you’re a skeleton who lives under the sea?
How can you fight giants and achieve financial security?
What if you literally became the sun?
Oh, and… what even is a Heroine anyway?
To create Heroine, Milton drew on a wealth of stories from around the world, including the English story of a girl taking on giant, Molly Whuppie, the Scottish myth of Selkies, Inuit story of love, Skeleton Woman, the Aztec story of the Goddess of the Sun and West African upending of Bluebeard, Keep Your Secrets.
Founder of both Snatchback and Joyous Gard, Beth Eyre, stars in Heroine alongside Kudzanayi Chiwawa and Henri Merriam.
The production is directed by Asia Osborne, who returns to VAULT Festival where she previously directed Call Me Fury in 2019 and Valkyrie in 2017, which won the Origin Award for Outstanding New Work. The creative team is completed by Odinn Orn Hilmarsson (sound and music), Rajiv Pattani (lighting) and Hazel Owen (costume).
Heroine runs at The Crypt, The Vaults, Leake Street LONDON SE1 7NN from 4 to 8 March 2020, with performances Wednesday to Saturday 8.40pm, matinee Sunday 4.30pm. Tickets are priced £14. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!!
Lizzie Milton on creating Heroine
It’s difficult to quantify exactly. I’ve been researching folklore for a few years before I decided to make this show, and some of that has fed into this show. Two of the books that really helped me make this show were Angela Carter‘s Book of Fairytales and Women who Run with Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. There are so many different versions of folk tales, so researching them can become a rabbit hole that is difficult to find your way out of. Whilst finding different versions of the same story is definitely very interesting and sometimes helpful, part of the fun of folklore is putting your own spin on it.
My favourite folktale is the Irish legend of the Salmon of Knowledge. Legend has it, there was a salmon who ate hazelnuts that had fallen into the well of wisdom and gained all of the world’s knowledge. A poet and druid, named Finnegas, made it his life’s work to catch this salmon and eat it, so he could gain all the world’s knowledge. He finally caught it, but through an unfortunate mishap, his apprentice (Fionn Mac Cumhaill) ate a bit of the salmon and gained all the world’s knowledge instead of Finnegas.
Invisibles (17-22 March)