Birdwatchers’ Wives Edinburgh Fringe


Rita Grebe and her long suffering sidekick Grouse will be demonstrating in the aptly named Demonstration Room at Summerhall, a turn of last century old veterinary school. It doesn’t seem like 5 minutes ago that I was in residence at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, on Wallasea Island in Essex, on the twitch and creating Rita Grebe. She is a Great Crest and these birds are usually found in marshland though Rita is on the prowl and in Edinburghish.

Book tickets on the gigs page – you know she would love to make your acquaintance…

Louche Women Present…

Photo: Louise Leonard

Louche Women has its first away day at Colchester Arts Centre on July 19th at 8pm. Performance artist and founder of Louche Women Caroline Smith co hosts with the remarkable Sue Kreitzman (artist, Sunday Times Style cover model and star of Channel 4′s Fabulous Fashionistas).

Together they will romp, tease and chomp through an evening about retirement, the meaning of BEIGE and the proliferation of new TV shows about getting on a bit. Joining them will be Essex gal, broadcaster and sleb PR consultant the delicious Wendy Bailey; live music from Elia and the Low Tears (“The wit of Wilde, the voice of Wonder” Attitude magazine, who joined Tom Robinson on BBC Radio last year) and MORE to be announced down the line!  If you bring A Thing for our competition, you may get to sit on our knee (or win a prize).

Louche Women Summer Season

Louche Women kicks off Summer with ‘MISADVENTURE’ in a special co-hosted show with honorary Louche The Cardinal Paul, who packed out Tate Britain recently sniffing out shame with Mertle. Featuring a certain pair of Hollywood sisters and London culturazzi, musician, art and music editor Richard Dyer on Sebastian Horsley, The Colony Rooms and opulence at and over the edge. Bring A Thing for a competition prize along with our regular features of live music, poetry.

Very happy to announce July 19th, Louche Women get their hands on Colchester Arts Centre.

Grab Louche while it’s hot and spring into summer.

Birdwatchers’ Wives premieres at Edinburgh Fringe 2014 – preview dates announced today

Photo: Christa Holka

The bird is back!

Previewing at Norwich Arts Centre – 16th July and Colchester Arts Centre – 24th July, Rita Grebe flies to Edinburgh to appear at Summerhall (a turn of last century veterinary school), kicking off 2nd August for a full run (playing on even numbered days) in their aptly named Demonstration Room.

Birdwatchers’ Wives is an Escalator East to Edinburgh show, supported with funding from the Arts Council of England. Metal is giving Rita a Time and Space Residency; Mem Morrison is preening the dramaturgy. Rita is in a right old flap as she’s captive at the moment but eager to run wild and you know that beak of hers gets sharper…

It seems like a lifetime ago (end of 2012) since I left my position as an academic to roam around the wilds of performance art and comedy. Rita and I are so excited to be going to Edinburgh (understatement!) – please come and have a great time with her at one of the previews at Colchester or Norwich, or say hi at the Fringe Festival.  Spread the word, she’ll be tweeting obvs  @ritagrebe and news will be released  on More details / ticket purchases to follow…

Mertle Returns for a Walk of Shame – Tate Britain

Tickets going, going, nearly gone – for last few – go HERE !!!!

Mertle Merman joins Cardinal Paul Green invite you to join them as they uncover and examine feelings of shame in Tate Britain moving between the comic, serious and the confessional.

Exploring the moral complexities of art and artists in the collection, their performative tour of the galleries follows on from The Shame Show hosted in early summer 2012 at MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, where they took a satirical look at the concepts of shame and the trivialisation of people’s emotions by the mass media.

In my Mertle persona, I have previously looked at people’s complex relationships with food. Mertle herself is from another time, the 1950s, where a housewife was as adept at emotional self-restraint as she was with making a Victoria sponge and consequently she acts a repository for people’s intimate moments of self-doubt or insecurity. Mertle becomes a non-judgemental listener and the audience become increasingly aware that beneath the confidently domestic exterior is a woman who shares their insecurities and self-doubt.

For this performance Mertle collaborates with Paul Green, also appearing in character as Cardinal Paul, whose ongoing curatorial project In Every Dream Home a Heartbreak takes a fresh look at sexuality and gender representation in non-mainstream culture.

We encourage the wearing of sack cloth and ashes, or similar.


by Paul Green