Following a sell-out performance at London’s Roundhouse, Francesca Beard’s one-woman show How To Survive A Post-Truth Apocalypse returns for an exciting UK tour. Beard mixes storytelling, verse, spoken word, audience interaction and a game of ‘Whose Lie Is It Anyway’ as she leads audiences on a journey to explore lies in all their forms and what it means to be human.
We caught up with Francesca Beard to find out more.
What can you tell us about How To Survive A Post-Truth Apocalypse?
How to Survive A Post Truth Apocalypse is an exploration of story-telling, how our genius at make-believe is both our greatest gift and potentially our doom. It takes the form of an epic adventure through a perilous landscape in order to rescue our reality from lies and liars.
This is your first full-length show, what inspired you to do it?
This is my first full length show since I had kids. My girls are nearly teenagers now so I felt that I – and they – were ready for me to dive deep into the scary adventure that is the making and touring of a new show. I’ve always been fascinated by how we construct reality, our ability to conjure up alternate universes. We are living at a time when the so-called ‘Leader of the Free World’ values ‘truthiness’ – what feels authentic, over the truth. As an artist and a poet, I’ve often blurred the boundaries between fact and fiction, it felt like an urgent responsibility to talk about what that means, how it works and whether we should be much more precise about when it’s beautiful and when it’s dangerous.
How does it feel returning to the stage after a ten-year absence?
I’ve been performing spoken word sets throughout and I’ve been stage-adjacent as a writer and dramaturge, working on incredible participatory projects with partners like The Young Vic’s Taking Part and CompanyThree but it feels really exhilarating to be touring a full length show again.
What are you most looking forward to about touring?
I’m most looking forward to getting out there and meeting new audiences. When I’m making work, I try and make the kind of work that I would want to pay money to go and see. The more I’m invested in something and the more immersive it is for me, the more I enjoy it. I always make sure the audience has a role and a responsibility which is necessary for the show to work.
What do you think President Trump might say if he came to see How To Survive A Post-Truth Apocalypse?
If Trump came and saw the show, I would definitely ask him to take one of the interactive roles – he could perhaps play one of the True Lovers in the The Forest of Desire scene, where he might get to utter such lines as ‘My hygiene standards are variable’ or ‘I can’t believe I got waxed for this’. Or perhaps he could deliver the truth as one of the Oracles at The Mirrored Lake. Afterwards, I feel sure he’d tweet something scathingly critical, like ‘Covfefe.’
How To Survive A Post-Truth Apocalypse will be touring from February – June 2018. Find out more here.