London Horror Festival 2021
Brew The Witch (famed woman of darkness) is hosting ‘magic night’, an evening of paranormal tricks and treats, alongside her virginal little poof, Lachy. But when her kitschy ceremony releases a real, sinister entity, she will have to use occultish wit and surprising solutions to save Lachy from the grips of hell.
Hi Lachlan thank you for talking to The New Current, how have you been holding up during these very strange times?
Didn’t do much holding up. This time last year I was crying on a bus in Bristol, wearing my spooky costume - it was a tough Halloween. This year, I’ve become Halloween. Best decision I’ve ever made.
Has this time provided you with any new creative inspiration or opportunities?
Yes it has! It’s been mostly experimenting. Making my work online was (sometimes) a cool challenge. I wrote loads of stuff. I made stupid videos and podcasts. But when all’s said and done, ventriloquism and physical comedy really works best live. I’m more grateful for live performance now than ever. Even after bad gigs now, I go home and have this moment of realising how good it is to have bad gigs again.
What does it mean to you to be bringing your new show Voices of Evil to the London Horror Festival 2021, are there be any nerves ahead of your run?
Massive nerves but good nerves! it's my first time presenting a solo hour since December 2019 and first time doing this show in full. I’m so lucky to have found London Horror Festival and the lovely people there now that I happened to finally make a horror show. I hope to see lots of stupid scared faces there! Please bring yours, your friend’s, your mum’s, your dad’s, your dog's...
How did you get into ventriloquism?
I was a lonely, strange child and a big fan of The Muppets. At 7 years old I saved up all my pocket money, went to a toyshop, bought a witch puppet and taught myself ventriloquism. I used it to express myself, saying naughty things through ‘Brew the Witch' in school assemblies and I told everyone that one day I would do this for my job. Neither they nor I can believe that has actually happened.
Can you tell me a little bit about Voices of Evil, what inspired you to create a queer horror show?
The decision happened so quickly and just made sense. I had another idea for a show that I was a bit stuck on during lockdown. Then in February a friend said ‘you have a witch puppet, why don’t you make a night of witchcraft?’ and I had this image of a really sombre victorian seance night that made me laugh. I read about these original mediums who were all young women - using illusion and being incredibly sexual while claiming to ‘channel’ someone else. That fascinated me as a set up, from a queer angle, and with ventriloquism in my pocket.
I’d been playing with this character of me, as a ridiculously shy little boy, who literally never speaks because Brew is so overbearing. Playing with the drama of demonic possession and all the ways to use ventriloquism for that is endless fun.
What were the biggest challenges you faced bringing Voices of Evil to the stage?
Honestly, I have faced the fewest challenges on this show than anything I’ve ever worked on. I was lucky enough to get both a great rehearsal space (for free), and a venue that allowed me to workshop the show and make a big mess in front of audiences. I also a great team to work with - I’ve been thanking my spooky little blessings!
The main challenges have been coordinating a huge fight sequence with a puppet, occasionally panicking about staying well stocked in fake blood, and having to take tubes home with a red stained face.
Voices of Evil is directed by Sara Segovia and Laurie Luxe, what has this experience been like working together on this production?
They are absolute idiots who make my belly and cheeks hurt from laughing. They’re also two of my best friends. We are now working together as a company called Pointy Finger, and this show is one of very first big outings. Workshopping the show over the summer with Sara was a joyful whirlwind of creativity. She’s full of bravery and optimism. Laurie’s sense of stagecraft and wickedness elevates everything we do.
Have you always had a passion for theatre?
Yes - being without it sucked ass.
Do you think there should be more opportunities for diverse LGBTQ+ at fringe festivals?
Yes but all those opportunities should just be for twinky ventriloquists with witch puppets.
"I was lucky enough to get both a great rehearsal space (for free), and a venue that allowed me to workshop the show and make a big mess in front of audiences."
What's the best piece of advice you would offer fellow theatre-makers?
Just put things on, anywhere possible - sometimes it will be festivals, sometimes you trick tinder dates into watching you perform in a coffee shop. And accept that your room will always be messy.
And finally, what do you hope your audiences will take away from Voices of Evil?
Achey faces from the biggest laughs. But also a little bit of confusion, wet hands and the curse that I will put on them.