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The Blue-Bearded Lady

The Blue-Bearded Lady: Performer returns to the place it all began….

By Pipi-Ayesha Evans

Performer Pipi-Ayesha Evans trained in circus at CircoArts, in Christchurch, so this is a ‘coming home’ for her. She says ‘its really sad that CircoArts no longer exists. However, I’m looking forward to returning to perform in Christchurch – the place where my circus career began.’

This isn’t the first time she’s performed circus in Christchurch. She toured here with Maui – One Man Against the Gods (as an aerialist) in 2006. But this is a first for her, as it’s a solo show and her own work. She says ‘this is my baby – this project is entirely mine, which is both exciting and scary!’

The Blue-Bearded Lady is a one-woman show that includes circus theatre, aerial dance, stilts, partial nudity and a teddy-bear telling stories about a strip-club.

Pipi-Ayesha Evans states: ‘This show isn’t necessarily for everyone: I met a woman in Mackay whilst I was doing publicity for the show: I told her I perform topless, and she quickly handed me back my flyer, saying “Keep yourself clean for God” and walked away’.

She states: ‘I’m interested in the human body, and I personally find it fascinating to watch. While there’s some adult themes in the show, mostly I aim to turn my body into something non-sexualised, just something to watch, rather than being a titillating experience.’

The main character in The Blue-Bearded Lady uses her beard and her muscled body to physically confront the audience’s preconceptions of how a woman should look and behave. Pipi-Ayesha also does this by performing strong-woman type moves (circus moves typically performed by male performers).

“I aim to create work that is provocative, beautiful, and entertaining - combining high physicality with innovative storytelling to create compelling theatre that pushes both physical and creative boundaries, where circus informs the story.”

This is a modern adult fairy-tale, inspired by the story of the wife-murdering Bluebeard, told by one of his wives (‘Lady Bluebeard’). She has entered the forbidden room, and is contemplating what her fate is to be. Perhaps the secrets of her childhood can empower her to save herself. He is a beast, but she may be the stronger wolf.

Pipi-Ayesha explores new techniques of performance: ‘in my tissu [aerial fabric] piece, I started by aiming to forget all I knew, and tried to find new ways of moving with and relating to the fabric’.

‘Fantastic show absolutely loved it. The strength and ability of this tiny little lady was outstanding’
- Tammy Stone, Sensory Circus Tribe

ENDS

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