Tough Old Bird is a ‘One Nana Show’ investigating how modern society treats and punishes women for daring to age, and pressures us into staying young forever. Told by “Nana Funk” (a character I have been developing for some time) ‘Tough Old Bird’ will combine comedy, storytelling and song to create a unique performance for every audience. Borne from my own experiences and those of my 80-year-old mum, Pat Waller, who recently passed away this show is very close to my heart. It will incorporate interviews and workshops with older (50+) members of the Liverpool community. It will also include audience discussions, from which spontaneous songs will be crafted.
Nana Funk has evolved from a cabaret burlesque character to a fully-fledged alter-ego. She will incorporate storytelling, bouffant clowning, music, song, Improvisation and getting very angry with adverts. They tell us to keep looking young at any expense, to stay young because getting old is a sin Why? Because we're worth it! Nana Funk has grown old disgracefully and has loved every minute!
The performance, in partnership with Paperwork Theatre, will be part-scripted & part improvised. The scripting process will use inspiration from the workshops. The improvised portion will be fuelled by the live audience. I aim to achieve a full collaboration with the audience & workshop participants to ensure they have as much ownership of the piece as I do. To date I have undertaken 2 scratch performances including Liverpool Everyman New Writing Scratch that showed how powerful audience participation can be.
"For a start, I'm invisible. Well, I'm old, which is another word for invisible. I'm a stealth codger. See, when you get around 35 years old, you start to develop patches of invisibility. By the time you're around 65 you're more or less transparent. And now I'm so bloody old nobody ever sees us." Alexei Sayle - The Minister of Death
Funded by Liverpool (January 2021)