by Anita Sullivan
Freakshow conjoined twin


'Freakshow' is an exploration of the relationship between body and mind, with a respectful nod towards the real history of the circus sideshow.

The show is set in the Shadowplay Sideshow. The acts are presented, but also the personal stories of the performers, showing where they have come from and how they have lived with their extraordinary bodies and abilities. It shows the lives, loves and dreams of this closed and unique community. But who is their manager, Shadow? And what are the Pickled Punks whispering about? And who is the new girl, who is never seen in daylight...

'Freakshow' was the result of a devising process involving the whole creative team, led and directed by Anita Sullivan. The show was performed at the New Venture Theatre, Brighton in October 2003. It featured cabaret, circus acts, puppetry, a fleet of minature caravans, live music/ foley from Helleanor Webband and a very disturbing dance routine.

Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes


[Eve meets the Shadowplay Sideshow and wants a job]

Mrs P -What’s your name, dear?

EVE -Eve.

FAIRY -So where are you from, 'Eve'?

EVE -Various freakshows.

L.B. -Which ones?

EVE -The Dreamland circus. The Steeplechase Sideshow… I forget them all.

L.B: -The Rosen brothers?

EVE -I didn’t stay long. The entire show was composed of grifts, gaffs and fakes.

L.B: -Did you work with Omar Sami?

EVE -Greatest talker there ever was.

ITZY -Did you meet Lionel, the dog-faced boy? He’s my friend.

EVE -I am acquainted with Lionel. But he’s no longer a boy. Goes by the name of ‘Lion Man’, now.

ITZY -[Tearful] Have you met my mummy? She’s looking for me?

EVE -Maybe. I wouldn’t know.

L.B. -Exactly how long have you been in this game?

EVE -Far too long.

[It/the comes in with chicken]

EVE -Do you want to see what I do? Now?

Mrs P -That would be marvellous.

[Vamp savagely attacks and drains chicken]

Mrs P -Good heavens.

L.B. -Fantastic. Did you see that?
That’s the best geeking I’ve ever seen.

FAIRY -That’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen.

ITZY -She’s good.

L.B. -Combine it with the poetry stuff, it’s got a bit of everything. Class and gore. What more can you ask for? They’ll lap it up.

ITZY -She’s in.

Mrs P -Congratulations.


Pickled Punks:

Carny talk:

Sideshow people:

Sideshows past and present:


Freakshow clown

Laughing Boy the hideously scarred talker, played by Brandon McGuire

Freakshow Eve the vamp

Eve the new arrival, played by Katie Scarfe

Freakshow Itzy

Itzy and her foul-mouthed conjoined twin Dolly, played by Lou Gregory

Freakshow ItThe

It/The the pyrotechnical, played by Paul Wilson

Freakshow Fairy

Fairy, the trapeze artist, played by Izzy Aidelberry

Freakshow Clarity

Clarity the psychic, inhabited by the spirits of Mrs Pickering and an anglepoise lamp, played by Marina Norris

Freakshow poster


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