Lesley Ferris – director and co-founder of Mouth and Trousers
Below is an outline of the topics covered in our interview with Lesley Ferris in 2013, recorded to assist with the construction of the Mouth and Trousers company webpage.
Lesley’s Unfinished Histories interview is now deposited with the British Library Sound Archive, V&A Theatre Collections and Sheffield University. Please see Viewing Interviews for further details.
Company: Mouth and Trousers
Interviewer: Phoebe Ferris
Interview content includes: Mouth and Trousers – 3 person collective. Everything agreed collaboratively. Collective – Lesley Ferris, Jan Dalley and Brian Rotman. Formed 1979, lasted 4 years. Based York and Albany pub, Camden. Closed when pub had to close. Aims & objectives included: promoting experimental theatre that involved non-naturalistic acting with masks, puppets and mime; new writing that attempted to rise above prevailing naturalism; workshops with directors, actors, writers around new material; supporting new companies and playwrights. Interest in small-scale, intimate work and physical-based theatre. Wanted to be part of the prevalent debate on the nature of theatre. Role of part-time administrator. Funding: often self-funded, Camden, GLA. All monies shared equally. Information on Death of Harlequin; I’m the Original and The Maids. Rehearsals over a month, creative and open. Subjugation of the Dragon.
Thoughts on the time – rich, creative time; lots of press covering pub work; lots of humour and political humour. They especially championed women’s work. Audiences varied to play content, also basic Camden audiences. List of the plays they produced.