Do you ever get a bit stressed? A touch of of anxiety? Are you sometimes not so keen on the outside world? Most importantly, do you like cacti facts? Sounds like you’re a lot like Lucinda, the star of The Basement Theatre’s latest wacky show, Lucinda the Cactus Girl.
A devised play featuring a comedic and absurd look inside an anxious mind, Lucinda the Cactus Girl is the debut solo show from Lizzie Morris.
Curious about what sort of show involves 273 cacti, I sat down with Lizzie (and her muso Doug Grant) a couple of weeks ago for a quick chat about the devised production.
Firstly, how does one come up with a play centred on cacti?
L: The show progressed from a drama school project. Pretty much, I wrote a short play about a man who fell in love with a cactus and then just kind of exaggerated the cactus bit.
Okay, so what is the show actually about?
L: It’s pretty much a day in the of Lucinda who lives with 273 cacti.
We started with this idea that Lucinda didn’t have a life. She just shuts herself in her room with these cacti. So instead of having a life, she creates a life with the cacti.
Dating, getting married, having a job - she just creates it with her cacti.
Okay, so that’s undeniably funny but also kind of sad. Does it have deeper themes?
L: It started out as kind of an exploration of my experience with anxiety but now has become kind of more an exploration of escapism and trying to get away from boring real life stuff by creating a little fantasy world to life in.
I think comedy is a really great way to deal with that stuff, put it into a place that’s hilarious.
What’s Doug’s involvement in the show?
L: I initially asked Doug to just do the music but as the show has progressed his character Kurt has sort of taken more of a role in aiding Lucinda in her fantasy.
Doug, how did you get involved?
D: Lizzie messaged me and I think she just said that she’d substituted all her friends for cacti and that was all I had to begin with... I was like, yeah, let’s do it!
Speaking of the cacti, how are you getting all those?
L: Well, we’ve just reached our Boosted target so now we get to actually buy them! We’ll have a day where we will drive and pick them up and name them all.
Also, we’re borrowing some. For some reason, so many people own a cactus. It’s ridiculous.
Who should come see the show?
Anyone who wants to laugh!
Because it’s a bit crazy and weird, you’ve got to be a bit open minded, but I’m never going to make people uncomfortable.
It’s just silly. It’s so silly.
Lucinda the Cactus Girl opens tonight at The Basement Theatre and runs till this Saturday. Lizzie and her crew invite anyone who is interested in clowning, comedy or cacti to come along. Tickets are available here.