Spider In My Soup is an eclectic theatrical experience put together by Nicole Pingon that explores memory, friendship and creepy crawlies. I got to catch up with Emily Henderson, an upcoming musician who performed in Spider In My Soup at this year’s Bondi Feast Festival.


Brianna - What can you tell me about the show?

Emily – So it’s a unique little show that combines some live music and movement to have a look at the magic of female friendship and the magic that is all around us all the time.

Brianna - That’s a lovely way of putting it. Could you elaborate on the magic of female friendship?

Emily – Yeah! This is something that’s come through more in our development of the show. We put the show on earlier this year and have now developed it a bit and it’s not all positive and joyful, but we’ve managed to find beauty even in the sadder moments – the times when friendships are tough or when our relationships with others aren’t quite clicking.

Brianna - Sound great. How else has the show changed since it’s showing last year?

Emily – The content has changed a little bit but the biggest changes have had to come from working in a new space. It’s such a different environment because the space we perform in is transformed into a theatre but is also an art gallery.

Brianna - What can you tell me about the process you went through to make this show?

Emily – It was very much devised and the wonderful Nicole is so creative, constantly writing more and then coming into rehearsal with prepared ideas. Then we workshop it and she goes away to build even more ideas off of that. The musicians are Ruby, who’s playing a cello and singing, and myself. I play mostly percussion and mallets. So we often just improvise a lot until we get to something that sounds good together.

Brianna - What instruments do you play in the show?

Emily – So I mostly play marimba, a mallet instrument and its lots of fun. I also play some extra instruments like the djembe, as well as some instruments that aren’t usually instruments at all – you’ll know them when you see them!

Brianna - How would you describe the musicality of the show? What’s the tone like?

Emily – It’s very much informed by what the actors are doing. I guess we are going for sound that is often peaceful, lovely and then sometimes we go for raukus, jarring sounds. Often we use our instruments in ways that sound like they were never meant to be used that way – awful screeching sounds that somehow reflect far too much of what’s going on in our human brains!

Brianna - Would you say that this show is a bit non-conventional or outside of the box?

Emily – Yes! It stemmed from Nicole’s brain, which is already so amazing and wild with lots of creative ideas. I mean, the show is about spiders, which is already a little strange but not in the way that people would expect, and spiders end up meaning something far less monstrous and far more magical. They’re not scary spiders. We are hoping some people will come away thinking, “hmm maybe spiders aren’t so bad after all”.

Brianna - It’s exciting to see a group of young artists making something that’s so free of form. It doesn’t seem like you’re sticking to any one convention here.

 Emily – Yeah there’s no conventional script. We’ve all composed the piece, which I guess could be kind of risky. The first time we performed it we didn’t know what it was until the final few weeks. Then we kind of realised that it wasn’t really based on any structure and responded more to the feelings it was giving us.

Brianna – Well how exciting! Is there anything you want to leave the readers with?

Emily – Oh um. If you come see our show I’d like to say that we really appreciate it. I hope the audience gets to have as much fun as we’ve had when we were making this.

 Spider In My Soup was on at the Bondi Feast Festival this year from the 9th to the 11th of July


This Month in Sydney

8 - 26 January

Sydney Festival

Sydney – various

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Every January, Sydney Festival starts the new year with a bang, transforming the city with a bold cultural celebration based on critical ideas and cutting-edge art and performance.

More than any other cultural event, Sydney Festival defines Sydney’s personality. For over four decades we have presented international artists who guarantee headlines, and whose presence in Sydney adds to the Festival’s buzz and prestige, including names like Björk, Brian Wilson, Grace Jones, Manu Chao, Elvis Costello, AR Rahman, Cate Blanchett, Ralph Fiennes, Robert Lepage, The Flaming Lips, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, Peter Sellars, Sir Ian McKellen and David Byrne & St. Vincent. Some of the world’s great companies – Wayne McGregor’s Random Dance, Cheek by Jowl, Gate Theatre and The Wooster Group to name only a few – also share the Festival with the most exciting artists and companies in Australia.

Sydney Festival’s audacious contemporary programming positions it at the forefront of arts practice in Australia and up there as one of the most wonderful festivals in the world. (from Sydney Festival website)