We chat with writer/performer Alice Daly about 'Princess Truffles', premiering at Explosives Factory as part of Melbourne Fringe Festival.
Princess Truffles first emerged in a Clowning Workshop class in 2017. The clown costume Fabio (Clowning Workshop founder and Princess Truffles director Fabio Motta) had allocated me for that term was a french maid’s outfit. I’d ordered one online and it was too small, so I felt rather exposed. But the shyness turned out to be a blessing in disguise. During the exercise, I covered myself with the stage curtain and suddenly - without quite knowing what was happening - I was regally cloaked and explaining to the rest of the class that I was the best person in the world. And, though I didn’t quite understand why it was funny, my classmates were laughing. Truffles was born.
Five years on, she’s just as vain but further exploration in class and in developing this show have revealed other sides of her situation and character. Princesses who live in towers are, almost by definition, waiting to be carried off by a Prince. Since she’s so virtuous, why has no-one come to rescue her? She’s confused and that leads to tantrums and attacks of self-aggrandising despair.
It’s one of my favourite things about getting to be her: I can behave in ways that I never would in real life (or at least not in front of other people) because it’s for the audience’s amusement. I also love being able to play with our ideas of what a Princess and, indeed, women should be: beautiful, graceful and calm. Truffles really wants to be all those things but just can’t get it right. I suspect lots of us have experienced that sense of failure so it’s fun to have the chance to share it with other people.
Clowns enter the stage leading with their hope and pleasure to play with an audience: Princess Truffles is always looking for love. She does a variety of things to obtain it throughout the show. Do any of them work? You’ll have to come and see her to find out!