Chip In – Workshop with Gwen Van Spijk
May 6, 2017

Interview with Jozey, everyone’s favourite thanatophobe…

So, Jozey, you have quite severe anxiety/fear around death, dying and being dead and have spent the last 18 months with us whilst we delve into your deepest darkest thoughts and fears…

Why on earth did you agree to this?
Good question!! I think we all took the concept a little less seriously at the start than we do now. I always say to people that I sort of just thought “oh sure, we’ll make a show about how ridiculous I am and just taking the piss out of me and that will be mostly just quite hilarious”. While the show itself does retain a lot of silliness, obviously the reality of the process of making a show that delves into your darkest fears doesn’t end up being quite as consistently hilarious as you initially think. But I did and still do think it was an interesting and important topic for us to tackle. Not just death but, perhaps more importantly, fear and empathy.

Can you explain exactly what your fear is?
I have a LOT of very complicated and long winded fears (because I’m ridiculous). But this show specifically focuses on my fear of the nothingness after death. Of dying but mostly of being dead. Of not existing anymore. Urgh.

What has the R&D process been like? Has this made your fear any worse or better?
I’d be lying if I didn’t say the process of making the show was hard. Not just for me but for all of us. For me – having to face these sort of dark things going on in my head that I’d always really avoided facing in any serious way. And for the others – having to deal with me dealing with that stuff (sorry guys!) It was a huge learning curve for us individually and as a company and I think we all agree it was an important process for us to have as we have certainly come out stronger (and with a few more grey hairs).

In all honesty, it’s made me both better and worse at different times. The process has obviously made my fears and stresses a lot more difficult to ignore or laugh off than before, which was a massive shock to the system. But, although I am definitely still terrified and baffled by the concept of death, I think because I’ve been able to talk to people about it in a way I never could before and have people actually want to listen (even if they don’t understand it themselves) it’s meant that I lie awake thinking about it alone less.

How have you enjoyed the tour so far?
Very much! We’ve had such wonderful, warm, supportive and responsive audiences at every venue so far. So, I feel really lucky and thankful for that! I’ve really been having a great time performing, as well as meeting and chatting to people about their own thoughts and experiences and will be genuinely sad to say goodbye to Casket Case after everything we’ve been through.

What do you reckon is next for Flickbook?
Ah, spoilers! I think we are all really excited and invigorated by the idea of starting work on the next show. Show 4! We have some ideas in the pipe line but it’s all early days and we can’t wait to get together with a blank canvas and have some time to play and explore – especially taking on board all we have learnt from making Casket Case and being lucky enough to be part of IGC. On top of that, Lincoln and wider Lincolnshire are massively important to us, and so we have equally exciting plans to develop the community strand of our practise. More on all of this to come! Keep your eyes peeled!

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