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INTERVIEW | Pepa Duarte talks Eating Myself

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

CW: Eating Myself includes themes of female discrimination and awareness of body image & appearance.



photo credit: Charles Flint

Sharing a powerful and tender exploration of our own relationships with food and nurture, Eating Myself shines a light on female identity through the lens of Peruvian society.


Sharing stories of her teenage rebellion, her mother’s vegetarianism, and her current cravings, Eating Myself invites audiences into a dreamscape of their own hunger and cravings.


I got to speak to Pepa about the show to find out more about the show and to find out what it's like performing in a one person show.



Photo credit: Charles Flint

 

What is Eating Myself about?


It’s about the relationship that women, especially, have with eating and cooking. It’s a story told from a Latinx perspective and a show that fills the space with smells and flavours.

 

What was the inspiration behind the show?


I realised that this conflictive relationship I had experienced with food and dieting culture was something not only I was experiencing. Most people around me and especially women, felt pressured by society to look and behave in certain way. I wanted to resignify, reclaim the kitchen and food , both traditionally seen as way of discriminating against women, as a place to learn and rebuild the relationship we have with our bodies.

 

The subject matter of the show is one of those subjects people find hard to talk about.  What are you hoping the audiences will take away from the show?

 

I hope they reflect on their own bodies, in the relationship they themselves have with food.

 

What are the key themes and messages of the show? And who is your target audience?


We talk about body image, dieting culture, feminism, wisdom passed through generations, the power of tradition and culture, family and many other things.

The show wants people to dig into their own relationships with family and food, perhaps finding its connection

 

What are you wanting the audience to take away after watching the unique performance?


I’d ultimately love for people to leave the theatre craving sharing space with their loved ones.

 

Photo credit: Charles Flint

 

 

What was the biggest challenge creating such a sensory experience on stage?


There were loads of tests around cooking on stage, we worked a lot to set specific timings and ways in which we could both tell a story and cook for real on stage , all at the same time. We managed though! So come along

 

What do you think it adds to the show being a one person cast?


I feel it is an easier way to relate with the vulnerability of the character. Society puts women’s body under the spotlight, we normally feel self-conscious of the way we look. Being just one person on stage, makes a parallel with that dynamic as well.

 

 What is it like performing in and writing your own show?


Psych It is still a massive adventure! Thankfully I’ve never being on my own, I’ve always surrounded myself with incredible creatives that have made the show possible. Writing and performing is like being two people at once. What I try to do is always separate this two personas. Pepa the writer finished the piece years ago. Pepa the performer still revisits the show as if it was the first time, working with this writer’s text and trying to make them alive every show.

 

What’s your favourite moment in the show?


Well I love the ending, everything that has been literally cooked comes to it climax. I get to connect with the people in the audience, hear their thoughts, thank them for being with me and trusting me during this whole hour.

 

Describe the show in one sentence


A rich and vulnerable story about the relationship of women with food.



Photo credit: Charles Flint

 

Eating Myself was born out of the urge to talk about the relationship between women and food, and the act of caring for oneself and others. Through methods of storytelling, movement, and music this punchy production aims to invite the audience to reflect on their personal traditions, allowing them the chance to question and reflect on their own relationships with food.


The creative team is made up of mostly migrant voices from a

variety of creative backgrounds, sharing a Latin American perspective.


Eating Myself embarks on a months tour from September, starting at The Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol.


12th – 14th September - The Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol

23rd September - Derby Theatre

27th – 28th September - Northern Stage, Newcastle

1st October - The Lawrence Batley, Huddersfield

2nd October - Theatre Royal, Wakefield

4th October - Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

20th – 21st October The Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham

https://www.oldjointstock.co.uk/whats-on

27th October - NonSuch Studios, Nottingham



Photo credit: Charles Flint

 

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