Greedy Pig Theatre Company on gender expression, post-pandemic theatre and their new show ‘Be.’
Greedy Pig Theatre Company is a Bath-based theatre group who love to challenge perceptions of normality in their work. They are passionate about exploring themes surrounding gender, and telling LGBTQIA+ and feminist stories. We spoke to them about their upcoming shows, the pandemic and getting back to performing live!
How did the Greedy Pig Theatre Company come to be?
Greedy Pig was founded in 2018. We both knew that we wanted to have a go at making theatre, Lex being a Director and Doug being a writer. We had stories we wanted to tell, and things we wanted to try. After working with producer Holly Jefferies, we invited her onto the team, and ‘Be.’ will be our first project officially as a trio of Greedy Pigs!
What is the story of your new show BE.?
‘Be.’ follows three characters trying to break out the boxes that are assigned to us when we’re defined as ‘Man’ or ‘Woman’ by society. Through each of the characters’ individual stories, we unpick the social pressures of toxic masculinity, the relationships people have with feminism, and the struggles we all face with our identity, in one form or another, as they discover what it means to be ‘Her’, ‘Him’, or ‘Them’.
Why did you choose gender exploration as the topic of the new show?
It’s something we’ve always been interested in. As we’ve developed we’ve realised that themes of gender have been a recurring theme of many shows we’ve done, and this felt like the right opportunity to take those themes to the forefront and unpick them properly.
We also wanted to dive in headfirst to educate ourselves – we’ve worked with people who experience gender in all sorts of ways – be that because they’re trans, non-binary, queer, old, young, masculine, feminine, whatever it may be. It’s been a learning experience finding those common universal threads that we can craft into a story, in which everyone can see a bit of themselves on stage.
As a small touring theatre company, how did the pandemic impact your business, shows, and creative flow?
Initially it came in like this massive wall against creating anything theatrical, but I think we soon began to see it as a bit of an opportunity to test ourselves. One of our principles of the company is that we enjoy playing with form – that is, telling stories in different ways, be that via a musical theatre show, via a film, via a monologue etc. – and the pandemic forced us to produce work we never would have before. ‘Be.’ actually emerged through the pandemic as a socially distanced piece of theatre (between the two lockdowns of 2020). So whilst it has moved on from that now, I don’t know that it would have come to exist in the way it does now without that.
What does pride and LGBTQ+ community mean to you?
Pride is something close to our hearts. Within our company, Doug and Holly identify as queer, and Lex is a strong ally. So for me (Doug), it means having that sense of community and whether you engage with it fully or not, it’s out there if you need it.
Not everyone is ready to shout it from the rooftops, but I think Pride permeating its way through the media means that even if you’re not willing to say the words out loud, you know that there’s a community out there who will support you when you do.
Greedy Pig’s next show ‘Be.’ is touring the South West this February:
8th Feb – The Loco Klub, Bristol
9th Feb – The Rondo Theatre, Bath
10th Feb – The Cotswold Playhouse, Stroud