The poster for new theatrical project ‘Juglife’ is pretty eye-catching. It features two topless women, save for a well-placed sippie cup, a Hooters mug, a breastfeeding doll and a man’s hand (whose hand?!) Lindsey Lawman and Stacy Hart are pretty brave. Either that, or they’re keen to sell tickets. Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that it’s hard to ignore. And that’s just how Lindsey and Stacy like it.
Juglife is a brand new verbatim play focused solely on the subject of breasts. And before you ask, no, they will not be performing topless. As Lindsey Lawman points out:
“Naked boobs tend to draw focus away from what you’re saying. Or the fact you’re speaking at all. So we’ll definitely be wearing clothes.”
If you didn’t know already, verbatim theatre is based on the spoken words of real people. Having put the call out on social media for women interested in discussing the topic of knockers, Lindsey and Stacy trekked across the country recording their stories. From those interviews, the pair have created an evening of monologues, taking a light-hearted look at the trials and tribulations of boobs; tales of loving them and hating them, gaining them and losing them, and everything in between. The results have been surprising, illuminating, and occasionally heartbreaking. Lindsey Lawman explains:
“Breasts are body parts like elbows or knees. But unlike elbows and knees, they carry a host of narratives which (can) inform a woman’s entire identity. Breasts are sexual, comforting, funny, intimidating, offensive, limiting, nurturing, dangerous. They can be a source of anxiety, of confidence, of pleasure, and of pain. The women we have spoken to have been brutally honest about the impact their breasts have had on their lives. There was a lot of laughter (one women spoke about her enviable ability to breastfeed herself!) But there were also times when our hearts ached listening to stories of crushingly low self-confidence, of defeat, of loss. We are so tremendously grateful for their bravery in sharing their stories, and we have no doubt there will a real sense of shared experience among the audience.”
That’s not to say it’s all doom and gloom – far from it. Lindsey and Stacy say they’re keen to step away from the oft repeated headline of ‘breast shaming’, and instead want to celebrate the complexity of the female experience through the wonderfully fleshy lens of boobs.
Performed at The Tea Bar as part of The Basingstoke Festival ‘Discover Art in Unusual Places’ (www.basingstokefestival.co.uk), Juglife won’t feel like the usual piece of theatre. The audience will be sat at tables (with crucial access to the bar to sample the specially created breast-inspired cocktails!) as the actors perform not on a stage, but from within the crowd. Alongside the monologues will be a little bit of boob bingo (who knew there was 100 words for breasts?) and a rack raffle (with appropriately themed boob prizes). A percentage of the evening’s proceeds will go to help support NCT Basingstoke breastfeeding support.
When they are not raising tiny humans or performing, Stacy heads up the Basingstoke branch of the Women’s Equality Party, and Lindsey works as fundraising co-ordinator for Basingstoke NCT. As part of a series of fundraising events for the breastfeeding drop-in (or B.A.B.I.E.S – Babies And Breastfeeding, Information, Encouragement, Support) ‘Juglife’ is swiftly followed by Secret Art Basingstoke, a postcard art exhibition and sale taking place between 23 July and 4 August.
You can see ‘Juglife’ at The Tea Bar, Basingstoke on June 20 at 7.45pm. Tickets (£7), available to purchase online at www.eventbrite.co.uk.
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