Norwich date on national tour for new show from ‘Pretty/Ugly’ maverick artist

‘All you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun’ Jean-Luc Goddard


In the sixties French new wave filmmaker Jean Luc Godard famously claimed that all he needed to make a film was a girl and a gun.

Artist and theatremaker Louise Orwin, a big fan of his films, got to thinking about this and how the media’s portrayal of women has moved on in the 50 odd years since he made his claim. And she really wasn’t sure that the movement has been positive! Looking at Beyonce’s video for ‘Videophone’ featuring the singer and Lady GaGa dressed in their scanties bearing multi-coloured guns and the (US drama series) Springbreakers scene where two teenage girls lie on a bed surrounded by guns, using them as suggestive props got her thinking.

Louise started seeing girls and guns everywhere. She obsessed over them on YouTube, marvelled over them in music videos, felt a bit disgusted about them in video games, and tried not to see them in pornography. She decided to make a show that would challenge those films, which use girls and guns as easy plot devices, and the audiences that watch them – whilst also admitting her own confusion, as a woman, at being simultaneously repulsed and attracted to exactly that kind of imagery.

‘a witty, sexy and sometimes sad dissection of screen sexuality’ Londonist

‘From a young age I’ve been particularly drawn to the image of the femme fatale’ said Louise, ‘but as my politics developed I began to question this. By making an unprepared stranger the star of the show every night, it is my hope that audiences will consider how they might feel if they, too, were put in this position’

A Girl And A Gun is a live multi-media performance structured as a live film-making experiment for theatres and art spaces. It brims with wit and fun as well as being provocative and thought provoking with a razor sharp satirical script. It is performed by Louise with a different local male guest performer at every show. It comes to Norwich Arts Centre on Wednesday 5 October.


Expect gun-twirlin’, play-actin’ and Nancy-Sinatra- dancin’!

‘one of the most powerful pieces I’ve seen…theatre is rarely this postmodern without being pretentious’ Elisa Haf

The guest male performer will have never seen the script before so his reactions – and those of the audience – are genuinely spontaneous. He will read his lines and stage directions live off an autocue, the audience seeing some of his lines and directions projected onto an onstage screen. As the performance progresses, He is directed to do increasingly violent things to Her, and He must decide what He will and won’t do.

‘performed with real talent and conviction’ The Stage

A Girl & A Gun mischievously challenges not only ideas of masculinity and femininity, but also pop culture and broader society’s appetite for violence. It creates audience anticipation and complicity to provoke the viewer to examine their own appetite for violence in the media, and the intrinsic sexual objectification of women found all around us.

See a trailer here

Louise’s last show Pretty Ugly about the trauma and anxiety teenagers face about their looks created a stir on both sides of the Atlantic. It received international media attention, was featured in New York Magazine, Wired Magazine, The Independent, The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph and on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. Internationally it has been featured in El Pais, New York Magazine, Suddeutschezeitung, and in publications in France, Chile, Germany, Italy, Russia, Argentina and all over the US and UK

Louise Orwin is a London based artist-researcher. Her work spans the live and the recorded with incarnations in performance, video and photography. She is preoccupied with livesness, awkwardness, femininity and masochism, but above all she likes to have fun.
‘A Girl And A Gun’ was commissioned by Contact Theatre (Manchester) and MC Theatre (Amsterdam) as part of their prestigious Flying Solo Festival.

Written, Conceived & Performed by Louise Orwin
Produced by Jen Smethurst
Dramaturgical Support from Andy Field
Lighting Design by Alex Fernandes
AV/Production Management by Ellie Stamp

5 October 8pm
Norwich Arts Centre, St. Benedict’s Street, Norwich, NR2 4PG
£pay what you can 01603 660352