The Travelling Sisters are a lot of fun. I mean, when you get to hang out in a caravan for a week in the middle of a busy festival precinct you’ve got to bring the happy haps a fair bit, yes/no?
Laura, Elle and Lucy are The Travelling Sisters. See if you can pick out which is which on the audio recording below. Hint: Laura is the blonde. Typing out the text from audio over five years later, I’m not going to even try. Soz.
Mixing music, theatre, improv and audience participation, The Travelling Sisters fill that little caravan-y void where some punters might remember a couple of late night clowns used to perform out back of ‘The Duck’ (the venue formerly known as ‘The Duck and Shovel’).
Albeit that they’re performing at the more universally awake hour of 5/5.30pm (see below for days and times).
Bill Quinn caught up with Laura, Elle and Lucy the morning after a very special and important day in the Woodford lives of these three young performers.
Please excuse the sound spills. We did ask for trouble by agreeing that if anyone interrupted we would treat it not as a problem but as an opportunity.
*** Audio will be deleted by the end of March 2020 ***
*** Audio will be deleted by the end of March 2020 ***
Text of the interview:
Bill Quinn: For Timber and Steel, and a little bit for Trad and Now and Overheard Productions, we’re still at the Woodford Folk Festival. It’s only Day Two; it feels like it’s about Day 67.
I’m talking with three young women who have lost something dear to themselves yesterday. I’ll let them say as much or as little as they would like about that. But I am talking to, and I’m saying hello to, The Travelling Sisters.
The Travelling Sisters: Hi/hello [in triplicate].
BQ: Let’s start off: I need to know The Travelling Sisters’ story because it’s a story I don’t know too much about.
TTS (Lucy): Oh gosh, where do we start?
OK, so there’s three of us. Ell Sachs, Laura Trenerry, and I’m Lucy Fox. We started about two years ago when I wanted to do a little theatre show for Anywhere Theatre Festival in Brisbane. And I had a little piece to do, but I didn’t have…
[Unscheduled interruption from some unidentified male who likes poo. Apparently.]
Anyway, so I was doing a show – it was a 25-minute show, basically, but I kind of wanted something else. And I asked all my friends, and Ell was the only one who could do it who was available. That’s where it started.
Laura was in France at Gaulier Clown and Theatre School [ou École Phillipe Gaulier d’utiliser le titre original de sa terre natale] at the time. And then when Laura came back, Ell went to France to the same theatre school, and Laura and I did a show.
Then they both were back and we all did a show together.
And now we’re at Woodford.
BQ: Up to that point, Lucy, did you think they were possibly trying to avoid you by going to France?
TTS (not Lucy): Yes. We would rather that was kept secret, thank you very much!
BQ: Paging counselling services to The Travelling Sisters caravan! Counselling services for Lucy.
TTS: And last night, that thing you were talking about that we lost…
That very, very precious thing.
We lost our festival virginity last night! And it was pretty good.
It was fantastic! Everything went smoothly; there was no mess.
We thought it was going to hurt, but it didn’t.
BQ: Oh my god!
TTS: And lots of people stayed and watched the whole thing.
BQ: This is the fourth interview I’ve done, and there has been a whole undercurrent of sex. But I think that is Woodford.
TTS: Oh, it’s a sexy place. If I didn’t have a boyfriend, I’d have two-minute boyfriends all over the place.
TTS: Actually, I was proposed to on the first day we were here. Someone taught me how to pronounce their last name and then they said, “You’ve just learnt how to pronounce your last name!”
BQ: The pick-up line from heaven!
But this is my fourth time here, and there is a lot of love around, let’s face it.
TTS: It’s beautiful. It’s magical. It’s romantic, you know. And you fall in love with everyone.
TTS: And everything as well. Everything that watch or you see. There’s a beautiful puppet setup just behind us – Tie The Knot, it’s called. It’s on the river, there’s this big boat, there’s so many beautiful images. You look everywhere and there’s so much magic.
TTS: You just wanna fall in love.
BQ: So we’ve talked a bit about the festival, but let’s talk more about The Travelling Sisters.
TTS: Let’s do that.
Woodford has given us – and we’re currently sitting in – a caravan. It was a total piece of crap; it was a mess. It was covered in oil, like someone built a wall in front of a deep fryer. It was covered in graffiti.
So we’re part of the Woodford street theatre program, and they gave us this caravan and said, Make it look however you want. And we made our show to be in the caravan.
TTS: Shall I describe it to them?
BQ: Let’s do that. Paint a word picture.
TTS: Basically, imagine like an old school curvy caravan, and the outside is painted Maldive Dive Blue and white.
TTS: It’s basically a turquoise.
TTS: And then on the inside, it’s big floral beautiful wallpaper which is navy and cream. And turquoise.
And it’s got these beautiful wooden floorboards. And it’s just fresh and lovely.
BQ: And is this a performance space or are you out there doing stuff in the streets as well?
TTS: It’s a performance space. So every evening we’re doing a show, so it’s lots of different character sketches, live music, we’ve got a few live audience interactions – we’ve got a dating show where we get a few people up, and they get a chance to have a date with me, actually. One of my characters.
TTS: That guy last night, actually, sort of went for the tongue. Did you notice that?
TTS: I went to give him a kiss on the cheek and he was keen for something a bit more.
BQ: Oh dear.
Did you know – and this will give people an idea about where to come – did you know you’re in the space that was previously owned by Wacko and Blotto?
TTS: Yes! We do.
TTS: We heard it a lot when we were here on the weekend, doing up the van – painting, whatever. People would drive past and go, “Oh, you’re going to be here? Wacko and Blotto used to be here. So funny.”
[Interruption number two.]
BQ: And as we try to keep some continuity. Maybe we should put a sign up.
So you’re here for another five more days?
TTS: Every day. Out last one’s on the 1st [of January].
BQ: And people who aren’t at Woodford; how can they tune into The Travelling Sisters?
TTS: At the moment, the best thing’s probably our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/travellingsisters/. That’s where we post our videos and fun stuff.
TTS: We’re going to be making more videos. We’ve got a few on Youtube. And they’re characters from our show.
We’ll be heading off to Europe, actually. We’ve got Edinburgh [Fringe Festival] in the brain.
BQ: Recorded material at all?
TTS: Yeah, a little bit. We’ve got one of our songs recorded.
TTS: It’s kind of a long… it’s a story… an interpretation of The Fisherman and His Wife.
TTS: But we’ve made an Australian version and we’ve sort of Aus-tracised it.
TTS: But we’ve got so much different material and we’re just finding people who will film it for us.
TTS: And we do living room performances all around the world. We went to the UK just recently and did living room performances around the UK. So if there’s anywhere in the world that wants us, we’ll go.
TTS: Yeah, we did a season in a hairdresser’s this year which was pretty awesome.
BQ: So if you’re at Woodford, get on down to where Wacko and Blotto used to be.
TTS: Behind ‘The Duck’.
BQ: And look for the three Travelling Sisters, one of whom has a large hole in her skirt.
TTS: Because of last night!
BQ: I think that’s about it; I don’t think we’re going to get any more interruptions to this interview.
Laura, Lucy, and Ell: thank you so much for being with Timber and Steel today.
TTS: Thank you very much. [In triplicate].
You can see The Travelling Sisters show at their caravan at the back of The Duck:
Monday 29/Wednesday 31 December 2014 – 5pm
Sunday 28/Tuesday 30 December 2014/Thursday 1 January 2015 – 5.30pm
And do follow them and their videos and antics on Facebook.