Interview with Queens of Cups on New Moon Monologues

The New Moon Monologues, a festival of new writing in theatre returns to The Space in Limehouse for three nights starting tonight, and is curated once more by Queens of Cups (Grace O’Keefe and Erin Holland).

In advance of this exciting live and digital (livestream on Saturday) project, I caught up with the founders to find out more. Read on for the inside story from Grace and Erin!

Where: The Space

When: 15-17 Jun

Ticket link:

Promotional image for Queens of Cups

The New Moon Monologues is a 3 night writing project guided by the cycles of the moon. Started in 2020 as a platform for emerging artists in digital form, it now returns to The Space. What should audiences expect this year?

This is our biggest and baddest version of the New Moon Monologues yet. It’s on for three nights for the first time,and it’s been amazing to curate because they are each a completely different variety show and will include comedy, new writing, music, drag and burlesque.

We’re also debuting our musical double act, The Queen of Cups: Gross But Cute, which we’re very excited about!

The two of you met at Royal Holloway completing your MAs. Was it always the plan to go on to work together and support other female writers?

The day we met at Royal Holloway, we both immediately connected over our shared love of comedy and our passion for writing roles for women. Halfway through the year, we decided to take a one-woman show up to Edinburgh that would become Bad Teacher.

As former teachers (Erin has since gone back to teaching), it was a natural fit. We had always dreamed of having a show on at Underbelly, so we were absolutely thrilled to be invited to perform there for EdFringe 2020. Of course, things didn’t go as planned.

After graduating, we started New Moon Monologues in September 2020, which we were able to bring to life in person for a sold out show as one of the first shows to reopen after lockdown in May 2021.

Since its inception, we’ve always been very proud to feature a diverse line up of writers and stories, and this upcoming festival and our previous night The Witches You Couldn’⁹t Burn, heavily feature women writers.

We’re also one of the theatre companies working with the FemiFringe, a community that champions non-binary and female creativity at Edinburgh Fringe and in the theatre industry.

What have been your biggest influences?

We started New Moon Monologues because Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Vicky Jones started a new writing night, and we figured “it worked for them!”

We love two women being funny, Broad City was an early bonding reference for us, and we revere legendary comedy duos like French and Saunders, Julie Walters and Victoria Wood and Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett.

When we were at Fringe, we met and were inspired by so many great women in musical comedy like Caitlin Cook and Cat Cohen. And following the footsteps of so many amazing women like Michaela Coel and Waller-Bridge who’ve created TV shows adapted from one women shows, we’ve also adapted the Bad Teacher script into a television pilot. 

What have you been most proud of within the New Moon Monologues project?

I think we’re most proud of how this has evolved from something that started out as an online new writing night during 2020 to now a three night festival in a beautiful converted church, The Space theatre for the third year in a row.

This was never our plan, but it’s been such a beautiful part of our journey from finishing our MA to coming out of the pandemic to Edinburgh Fringe to now. 

You have carried on engaging with digital theatre. Is this a crucial part of Queens of Cups?

Yes, we actually have a lot of international viewers since Grace is American and we both have lots of friends around the world who catch the livestream of New Moon Monologues.

We don’t believe in caring about the lines between theatre, comedy, film, music, social media, etc and would like to create entertaining things for people to watch in whatever form possible!