VAULT week 8 is full of some really exciting shows, and we got to chat a little to Roxy from Zut Alors about Dirty Little Machine by Miranda Huba, a 'post modern fable about feminism, fantasies and other things beginning with F.'
What drove you to make Dirty Little Machine?
I saw a play in 2015 about how feminism as a movement/life choice/fight for equal rights played into a couple’s relationship, but I didn’t enjoy it. It felt safe and twee - it didn’t really go there in the way it needed to, in the way it had set itself up to. One of the people I was with told me about ‘Dirty Little Machine’, a play he’d been in in New York in 2011, that explored similar themes but with a bit more complexity and punch. He sent me the script and I loved it. ‘Dirty Little Machine’ is one of the most simultaneously terrifying and exciting scripts I’ve come across. There’s no simplification of the issue or striving for neatness - playwright Miranda Huba tackles pornography, feminism, sex and our voyeuristic culture fearlessly, head on. But what’s brilliant is that she does it with warmth and humour. ‘Dirty Little Machine’ is about serious things but it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s surreal and silly and tongue in cheek and very, very entertaining. It’s a ride the audiences definitely have to decide wholeheartedly to get on, but once they do, I think they’ll have a lot of fun.
Who is Dirty Little Machine for?
Adults in their 20s, 30s and hopefully 40s and beyond who are up for a frank, playful discussion about the way our image saturated, sex obsessed culture has affected our personal relationships. Women (and men) who want to talk about how the feminist debate plays into their personal lives - but do it with a smile on their face and a pint in their hand.
What is it about theatre that makes it a good platform for feminist discussion?
I don’t know if I think theatre is a better platform for feminist discussion than any other platform, but it’s transitoriness and liveness is probably useful. It’s a laboratory we can all come and sit in for an hour or so to dissect something, before going away and having to think about clever ways of doing it all over again. But at the moment I think American television is doing the best job of telling female stories in interesting ways, and exploring the many different ways you can be a woman.
If you had to make a new show, what CURRENT news story would you like to make a show about?
I don’t want to give away any ideas. That’s either because they’re brilliant or I haven’t had any yet.
What theatre ‘turn offs’ do you have?
I think a lot of people are making shows at the moment about things they think they should be making shows about. I see a lot of plays that simplify a debate, for the wrong or right reason. Other than that, plays where I come away thinking ‘but why is this on NOW?’ or ‘but why is this a play and not a film or a web series or a book?'
What was the last show that moved you to action?
I’m not sure, it’s unfortunately quite rare I feel moved to action by a play. But most shows at the Gate Theatre leave me feeling inspired to go and do something.
What shows at VAULT are you looking forward to?
‘The Quantum Physics of My Heart’. Just kidding, I’m directing that. Loads and loads and loads - I have a list of 30+ shows I want to see but this list is either based on blurbs or people I know so I’m not sure if it quite qualifies as a recommendation.
You can see Dirty Little Machine from the 14-18th March at VAULT.