Preview – How I Became a Dominatrix Using Damned Lies and Statistics – Vulcanello Productions at the King’s Head Theatre

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Smash hit and Evening Standard “Pick of the Camden Fringe” How I Became a Dominatrix Using Damned Lies and Statistics is returning to the London stage after a sold out run at the EtCetera Theatre. The original cast is back for a limited engagement – five nights only – at the King’s Head Theatre in mid-October, playing as a part of the late night programme after performances of La Traviata.

How I Became a Dominatrix Using Damned Lies and Statistics

Counter culture housewife Christy (Fleur de Wit) thinks she’s lost all interest in sex, until she discovers the internet. Suddenly she’s found the cure for sexual blahs: she is going to become a dominatrix!

From bondage workshops to sex clubs, Christy takes herself, her husband Scott (Anthony Rhodes) and the audience on a journey of discovery, with instruction (and ridiculous jokes) courtesy of Coral Tarran (Mistress Sunshine, Violet) and newcomer Kyran Peet (Russell, Eric). Don’t tie yourself in knots – get someone else to!

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT: HIBDUDLS is the sixth play by T. L. Wiswell, the author of gender switched London Lovecraft Festival sell-outs “Mountains of Madness” and “The Thing on the Doorstep.” With this show, she turns from camp horror to anti-romcom, “Noel Coward meets Fifty Shades of Grey.”

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR: Micha Mirto is a theatre director with a particular interest in new writing and projects championing diversity. Her debut piece ‘A Flat Full of Chandeliers’ enjoyed a three week residency at the Hen and Chickens theatre and she’s since directed three summer tours with DOT Productions; ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ (2016) ‘Emma’ (2017) and ‘A Woman of No Importance’ (2018). Other projects include ‘I,Dido’ (April 2018, St George’s Bloomsbury) and site specific ‘Gruesome Tales of the dark dark Woods’ (2014, Epping Forest).

REVIEWS:

http://viewsfromthegods.co.uk/how-i-became-a-dominatrix.shtml
https://twolassesinlondoncom.wordpress.com/2018/07/31/how-i-became-a-dominatrix-using-damn-lies-and-statistics-vulcanello-productions-etctheatre/
https://vickylovestheatre.wordpress.com/2018/08/01/how-i-became-a-dominatrix-camden-fringe/

PREVIEWS:
https://www.standard.co.uk/go/london/arts/camden-fringe-festival-2018-the-best-shows-to-see-a3895216.html
https://londonist.com/london/things-to-do/things-to-do-this-week-in-london-30-july-5-august-2018
http://www.londonpubtheatres.com/camden-fringe-etcetera/4594378338

HIBDUDLS runs October 15-October 20, 2018 at the King’s Head Theatre and runs at 9:30 nightly for five performances (excluding Thursday). Run time is slightly less than an hour. There are adult topics but no nudity. Not suitable for under 16s. Tickets available on the King’s Head website; updates available via Facebook and Twitter; contact information below.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/howIBecameADominatrix/
Twitter: @how2domme
Tickets: https://system.spektrix.com/kingsheadtheatre/website/eventdetails.aspx?WebEventId=dominatrix

INTERVIEW WITH THE PLAYWRIGHT
Do you worry that people will try to do this at home? “I sure hope so!” says author TL Wiswell. “This play is supposed to be fun and people should come out feeing cheerful and enthusiastic and empowered. Embrace the power of, ‘Yes please!’ I mean, we give out how-to pamphlets at the show, SOMEBODY should try it out and see if it works. ”
Isn’t it a little too sexy for the London stage? (The play includes a caning workshop and a stylized party set at a sex club.) “Too sexy for Facebook, yes. They’ve consistently banned our ads even when we use vanilla art. We are not providing an adult service! But a lot of people find this whole world very intimidating,” adds Wiswell. “This play provides a road map to navigating the lifestyle and making it approachable. Ultimately, you take home what you bring, and if that’s curiosity, you may discover you’re now willing to push yourself just that little bit more. Dominants and dominatrixes like making jokes and being silly just like everyone else does, it’s just that when they do DIY at home it may be for much more dodgy reasons than you’d expect.”

Why is the title of the play so long? “HIBDUDLS was originally written as a play exploring how long term couples struggle to be honest about their desires – thus the ‘Damned Lies and Statistics,’ because often in a relationship the endless lies you tell to smooth things over become so natural that you forget what it is you actually want. I mostly just call it Dominatrix these days unless I’m talking to my family about the play and then it’s ‘Damned Lies and Statistics,’ the original title – which comes from the old quote about how there are three kinds of lies.”

So how is this a comedy, then? “I wanted to discuss this serious problem in a way that was engaging and positive. That’s how I came up with the dominatrix angle,” she continues. “A lot of people try to pep up their sex lives with the old ‘silk scarves and fuzzy handcuffs’ SM after many years, or decide to ‘open up their relationship’ by going polyamorous. I decided to have the couple of my play go to BDSM workshops together, and then invite the audience to come along. That way they’re learning as the characters learn, but the audience will figure out much sooner that Scott and Christie are approaching this in very different ways. My hope is the audience will see the ‘lies that bind’ fairly quickly. I love unreliable narrators, and both Scott and Christie have no idea what they are getting into in terms of their relationship. They both need to learn how to be honest really quickly.”

What were your inspirations for this show? “Changing your life is really difficult, and many works of art see making a change as too, too hard – impossible, in fact. This inability drives a lot of very melancholy works – “Three Sisters,” “The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock,” it’s a long list. I found these inspiring, but they inspired me to flip this narrative, to tell a story where a woman is determined to change and to explore some parts of herself she’s filed away in cold storage and not to just do what she’s ‘supposed’ to do. My closest inspiration otherwise was the book ‘Our Tragic Universe’ by Scarlett Thomas – about someone learning to make a life for themselves – and ‘The Prudes’ by Anthony Neilson, which didn’t inspire me so much as convince me I was on the right track with directly addressing the audience and talking frankly about sex.”

It seems like this play could go quite dark, but the audiences were really laughing at the Et Cetera. Why is that? “Well, I worked to make it positive and upbeat. Neither of the lead characters are perfect and the people they meet run the gamut from predato¬¬ry to genuinely kind and supportive. ‘Dominatrix’ was written with research in both the polyamorous and BDSM community and is fairly true to life – but funnier. There’s a million reasons to be depressed today. I want people to come see my play and walk out feeling sparkly and excited about the future. Hopefully I’ve hit the right balance – and hopefully this will be a good show for neophytes and people who’ve been ‘on the scene’ forever. That’s what I’m aiming for, anyway.”

For additional information on TL Wiswell, see: https://diaboliquemagazine.com/climbing-mountains-madness-bringing-lovecraft-london-stage/

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