Camden Fringe preview: What Makes a Body Terrifying

“Bodies of water. Bodies in space. Bodies together. Bodies alone.

Who taught you to be scared of the sea? What stories did you hear? What powers of persuasion did they use?”

The Not-God Complex bring their show to the Camden Fringe (15-18 August, The Hope Theatre) – read on for more details from collective director and performer Zoë Glen.

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Promotional image for What Makes a Body Terrifying

Tell me about your Camden Fringe show! What’s it all about?

What Makes a Body Terrifying? is a queer exploration of two similar folk tales: the Slavic Rusalke and the Celtic Selkies. These two folk tales centre around mythical sea-people – said to shed their skins and become dangerous, beautiful human-forms, who seduce sailors and lure them to their deaths. In this show we combine elements from dance and spoken word into a piece that explores how these folk tales relate to the experiences of those who inhabit queer bodies, and the fear that is created towards them within society.

What’s the best thing about being part of a festival like this?

It’s really exciting to be part of Camden Fringe due to the wide range of types of performance programmed! It’s great to connect with other artists who have such different practices to us, and to feel how supportive everyone is of each others work!

What has your company been up to over the part year of theatre recovery?

Over the past year we’ve had the chance to develop a couple of other exciting projects, including How Do You Talk about a Manless Woman? which is a queer reading of the Italian romance novel. We’ve been really interested over the past year in how we can take the skills we developed from working digitally during the pandemic into our work. We made three short films in 2020/21 and it’s been really great to allow that creative development to influence our live theatre practice!

Do you have further plans for the show after the Camden Fringe? Or other shows in other spaces?

After the show, we’re offering an accompanying series of workshops on our process of devising queer theatre, which will take place in North London theatre schools and online throughout September and October, and are supported by Arts Council England.

We’re currently working on finalising programming for our next project All in Good Time which explores divergent experiences of time and attention, and how this effects audience experience. We’d love to return to What Makes a Body Terrifying? with a longer run sometime in 2023!

Let’s finish on a one liner. Why should I come to see What Makes a Body Terrifying?

Curious, genre-pushing queer stories, told by queer artists!

More information and behind the scenes can be found on the company’s Instagram: