“They don’t write this much in history books, but the West… It was really won by women.”
Putting the spotlight on women, Soiled Doves: A Burlesque with Boots On celebrates the real story behind who tamed the west! We sat down with Co-Artistic Director Delia Barnett for a sneak peek behind the scenes of the girl power that is Send in the Girls Burlesque, and their new show premiering January 18 at the ATB Financial Arts Barns.
Send in the Girls has a long and successful history with Fringe Theatre. What makes your brand of smart, sassy storytelling a Fringe Fan favourite?
I think its because our shows are fun and allow audiences to escape into the world of the play. What I love so much about burlesque is the audience is so important, we really need them to complete the show because burlesque is so performative. We want them to get on board with us and hoot and holler.
When we created our first show in 2011, Tudor Queens, its success blew me away! We sold out our run and our Holdover Series show. We won the Staff Pick of the Fringe, and were nominated for a Sterling Award.
We were amazed when we found a large audience who really tapped into historical stories and the body empowerment of burlesque. It resonated so well, people were trying to buy tickets for double the value on Kijiji! Watching audiences get so excited to see or learn about historical figures makes my nerdy, history-loving heart soar.
We also have a great deal of women thank us for our body positivity. Our cast has a variety of body types, and our characters find themselves in various situations and find their own way in life – so I think there is someone for everyone to identify with.
With outlaws, thieves, and cowboy stories, Soiled Doves sounds like a real hoot. What can we expect?
If audiences are familiar with our work this will take them back to our burlesque revue roots. It has strong similarities to our first work and offers a show within a show.
The show is playful and inspiring and delves into four women who truly helped build the Wild West. These women would be forgotten about, maybe even looked down upon in todays society. But, they made hard, bold decisions. Stood up for themselves and changed the world.
It’s legit a boot-scootin’ good time. The tunes are fun. The costumes are sparkly, and there’s some Yee-haws! We are hoping the audience leaves feeling they too can live their best lives and take on the world.
Send in the Girls is known for weaving true history into its girl-power productions. Where’d you get the idea for Soiled Doves?
We are always looking for groups of women in history who excite and interest us. In this political climate I feel respect for women is so important. These women carved out lives in areas that were largely male-driven. They were brave and bold at a time when women weren’t even considered to be people.
My Co-Artistic Director, Ellen Chorley, researched several women that interested her and we narrowed it down to four. They are a pretty good mix of gamblers, ranchers, bandits and stage coach robbers.
Any behind the scenes magic you want to share with Fringe Fans?
Each performer has really pushed themselves out of their comfort zones for this show. Lots of new skills were learned – fancy roping, whip cracking, acrobatic floor work.
These past few weeks I have said, “I have never done that before” many times. But, its always followed by, “Lets try it.” We always say we want to be like a blowfish. Rather than hiding and shying away when we get scared, we get large and go BIG!
There are a few other surprises up our sleeve, but you’ll have to come to the show to see them. And you’re really going to want to see them. One of them made me personally squeal in delight when I first saw it.
Don’t miss out on this incredible show! Buy your tickets now.