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In Conversation with Belle Hansen (Frenzy Theatre Co)


"This show is a funny and dark look at what it meant to be the early adopters of gameplay and simulation - and questions how it interacts with our lives and how it shaped us." We chat with Belle Hansen from Frenzy Theatre Co about their new work MOTHERLOD_^E kicking off our 2023 season at Theatre Works.

Q: Without giving away any spoilers, what can you tell us about MOTHERLOD_^E and the origin of the title?

A: Well… legally… it’s not related to anything specifically…. But! Anyone who feels nostalgic when seeing a green diamond or when hearing cheat codes past - kaching, motherlode etc, will know exactly what this title refers to. It’s a reference to the generational experience of getting lost in the wormhole of simulated reality. Building a home, an alternate reality, and losing 12 hour blocks to the lure of mundane made magic.

A generation of players explored everything from the curiosity of another life (like queerness, living with friends, living with immense wealth), to the macabre of unchecked power (controlling death, bodily habits, power dynamics). What greater anthropological study of the self is there? This show is a funny and dark look at what it meant to be the early adopters of gameplay and simulation - and questions how it interacts with our lives and how it shaped us.


Q: How have the 100 artists you have worked with this year influenced the development of this work?

A: Working with this many people has given Frenzy the best of both worlds - the nuanced range of life experience, and the exciting collaboration between people with diverse views on similar life experiences. This production is the accumulation of the values of our production company - to empower and employ emerging artists and make sure we’re all more skilled and readied on the other end. The experiences, conversations and workshops with collaborators have elevated our understanding of what people want and need in the sector so that we can both achieve an artistic outcome on MOTHERLOD_^E, as well as professional outcomes for each team member.


Q: How is queerness explored in the world of MOTHERLOD_^E?

A: The sims helped a generation of queer players process uncharted thoughts they didn’t know how to voice. MOTHERLOD_^E explores what happens within the sanctuary of simulated life - we watch our player explore her sexuality and identity through the characters she creates and controls.


Q: For those who have not experienced a show by Frenzy Theatre Co before, what can they expect?

A: Maximalism, audacity, darkness, and laughs.


Q: If you could invite anyone to MOTHERLOD_^E, who would it be?

A: Bella Goth, the residents of Pleasantview, Lily Allen and Katy Perry

MOTHERLOD_^E by Frenzy Theatre Co

4-14 January Theatre Works BOOK HERE

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