“Gen-Z’s ode to womanhood” is the promise of Rosalie Minnitt’s character musical comedy Clementine landing at VAULT Festival at the start of March. The show centres on Lady Clementine and her romantic misadventures, set somewhere roughly in the past. Lady Clementine is set off on a mission to solve her midfortunes following the disappearance of her latest sweetheart, in this fun, feel-good and empowering piece. We sat down with Rosalie to take a bite out of the show and to have a good old chinwag about all things Lady Clementine.
Catch Clementine at the Network Theatre between Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th March at either 21:45 or 21:15. Tickets are available through the VAULT Festival Box Office.
Hey Rosalie! So your show describes itself as “Gen Z’s ode to womanhood” – tell us about what sets the show apart from other shows that cover the same theme.
I think what sets this show apart is that it isn’t trying to be anything more than it is. There isn’t necessarily a hidden message or political agenda – I just wanted to make a really unhinged hour of comedy that sweeps the audience up into a mad and utterly pointless quest. That’s not to say there isn’t any heart; she’s bizarrely lovable and you do really want her to succeed.
The show introduces us to Lady Clementine, in pursuit of an answer to her misfortunes of love. What inspired you to create the character and what can the audience expect going in?
Quite honestly, the character was conjured in hysterical haze and madness of lockdown – which probably explains quite a lot. Though I hate to add fuel to an already tired cliche, the character was unwittingly inspired by my own romantic misadventures. In terms of audience expectations, I’d say keep your hands and feet in at all times, sit back and enjoy the ride.
The show takes place “roughly in the past” – what lessons does it incorporate about womanhood from times gone, and how does it relate to a modern expression of what it is to be a woman?
There aren’t really any hidden meanings or messages in the show, it’s mostly just superficially insane. Having said that, I am fascinated by the modern mythology of finding ‘the one’ whilst poking fun at our cultural obsession with a self-love that all too often tips into the kingdom of narcissism. I also think that what it means to navigate this world as a woman, and all the societal pressures that come with it, hasn’t radically changed all that much. Single, childless women are still regarded with a heavy dose of suspicion, and, even worse, routinely pitied. We’re at a curious crossroads where self-love appears to reign supreme but marriage is still, on some fundamentally level, seen as the ultimate goal which we’re all meant to be working towards. Being single is never seen as a final destination but a holding pen, a liminal, purgatorial space where we wait for our match.
I’m also a bit of a history nerd so this show is basically just an opportunity to cosplay as a glamorous lady of leisure.
The show is a self-defined character comedy, so on top of all that you’re hoping to make the audience laugh! Tell us about writing the humour and where it all came from.
I love making people laugh and, especially when I was writing it during lockdown, felt like we could all use a bit more lightness and levity in our lives. I hadn’t performed or written comedy in over a year by the time I started writing it and wanted to set myself a bit of a creative challenge to write a full show and see what happens. People often say comedy has to be grounded or have pathos to work, which I don’t necessarily agree with. I’m all about nonsense and this is a show that truly celebrates the ridiculous.
Tell us a little bit about the process of creating the show and what you have been up to ahead of the show landing at VAULT Festival.
When I first put the show on it was the first time I had performed properly in a few years, so it took a lot of guts to get out there and give it a go. Luckily, it went better than I thought it would and have since taken it to Brighton, Falmouth and up to Edinburgh for two weeks. Each time I’ve done it, I’ve tried out new things and changed and developed the show based on the audience. Creating a show and self-producing is so much harder than I thought it would be and it’s been a bit of a baptism of fire. I’m currently also working on a new show that I’m hoping to develop throughout the year too, so watch this space!
Now that we’re gearing up for your run at VAULT Festival 2023, what are you most excited for?
I’m so excited to see all the shows I missed up on in Edinburgh. I’ve already seen some brilliant shows, I saw Liv Ello’s SWARM last week, which was incredible, and went to Simon David’s Joie de Vivre Cabaret which I can not recommend enough.
Fitting with the themes of our magazine, if your show was an alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage (think cocktails, mocktails, shots, beers, be creative!) what would it be?
Something ridiculous with a dangerous amount of dry ice in. Or a Blue Thrill shot.