Playwright Sacha Voit’s latest creation Boots, which she wrote with Jessica Butcher, opens later this month at the Bunker Theatre. I recently caught up with her about her upcoming production.
Can you tell me what Boots is about?
Boots is about two women meeting in ‘Boots’ and finding that more unites them than divides them. They are divided by age, race and opportunities but, out in the woods, they find that honesty brings them closer than surface divisions.
How did the idea for the play come about?
Jess stood behind a woman buying Tena Lady in ‘Boots’ and thought ‘I wonder what’s her story?’ and then we worked together on back stories for both the characters until the story blossomed. Standing in a chemist, with the array of pinked and perfumed products, offers women a very sanitised version of what womanhood really is. Our play suggests that sometimes it’s more important to put your wellies on and get out in the mud, rather than buy a new lipstick to deal with your problems.
How did you and Jessica meet?
On a dark and foreboding production of ‘Antigone’, but we laughed all the way through it. Jess had the voice of an angel but the spirit of a bruiser and it worked like sweet magic on stage.
What can audiences at The Bunker Theatre expect from the production?
Humour and heart, rudeness and rawness, honesty and honourability. And a whole lot of trees!
Boots deals with friendship and loneliness. With loneliness becoming an increasing issue among people in society, what do you think can be done to combat this?
I have two answers to that question. One is: Small acts of both kindness and courage. In our play one woman overcomes her fears and has the courage to share her story. In doing so, she finds she is not judged, but cared for. So often our experience of, and subsequently our fear of, rejection means we lose the courage that children have when they just sit down and start playing with each other. It takes courage and kindness to overcome that fear. The more we can do of the both of these, slowly, the better the world turns.
But secondly: read the book ‘Mindset’ by Carol Dweck. I say this because sometimes we need to talk to the voice in our own heads that tells us we are not good enough. We are not the labels that are placed on us, and our potential is unlimited. This book makes you realise where that fork in the road of our belief system originates. [disclaimer: I am not on commission!!]
What would you like the play to achieve?
Love and laughter. Understanding and Empathy. And the courage to listen, and to say ‘Me Too’.
Boots is playing at the Bunker Theatre from 19 February to 16 March.