Interview: Eleanor Perry

A Night with Thick and Tight come to The Sadlers Wells as part of Mime London, an exciting evening which promises laughs, tears and eccentricity, you can catch them there from the 17th-19th January. We caught up with one half of Thick and Tight, Eleanor Perry, to find out more about their work.

Interview by Amie Taylor

AT: To start with, tell us about the history of Thick and Tight and how you came to exist? 

EP: Sure, myself and Daniel Hay-Gordon met at The Rambert School, where we trained together. We were very good friends and were involved in each other’s work there. Then in 2012 I made a short solo about Edith Sitwell, which was for a scratch night; at the time Danny was living with me and we were listening to everything she had every written, and we came to the idea that perhaps we could turn the solo in to a duet with two characters, which we did – and that has become the thing we do with Thick and Tight, we pair up well known people that would never have met and see what comes out of it. 

AT: So what can people expect if they come along to Sadlers Wells in January?

EP: Well it’s a triple bill, with two duets that Danny and I perform, one of them is based on Queen Victoria and Mrs Haversham, it’s this mad, monstrous ballet with these two horrid characters, it’s dark and sad and awful and funny. And the second duet we perform is about Princess Diana and Marilyn Monroe and the parallels in their lives, exploring what it is to be an icon, but to have the trauma and troubles to deal with at the same time. And then we have four guest artists in it too, including a moon walking Michael Jackson, amongst other treats. Then between the two duets there is a short solo performance from a wonderful dancer called Judy Cunningham, who directs at Merce Cunningham company. This is based on the lives and work of Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, artists who moved to Jersey during the 2nd world war, but did lots sharing propaganda on the island which was occupied by the Germans, and were imprisoned and sentenced to death, but survived because the war ended just in time. 

Although we’re dancers and have a traditional choreographic pratice, we also cross over with cabaret and queer performance world and when we’re not in theatres we can be found performing at the RVT and LGBT+ events and spaces. 

So expect tears and kisses and landmines and drama and humour and eccentricity. 

AT: What inspired this particular piece that’s on at The Sadlers Well?

EP: The two duets were made earlier for separate commissions, and they go together quite well somehow.

AT: And what’s your hope for the future of the piece following this?

EP: We’d love to perform it further.  It’s such a pleasure to be part of London International Mime Festival, and hopefully form there there will be commissions of new work, and we have some ideas for a longer piece too. 

Be sure to catch this fabulous piece while it’s in town.  Book now.

Thick and Tight - QUEEN HAVE AND MISS HAVEN_T © Darren Evans.jpg

Image by Darren Evans

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