Focus on: Apex Predator

Melbourne comedian Elizabeth Davie ‘met’ her alter-ego Lucretia at clown school. Now, even during an interview, she can't get rid of her – so we let them ask themselves some searching questions

feature (adelaide) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Elizabeth Davie
Photo by Nayt Housman
Published 01 Mar 2020

Elizabeth: The inspiration for Apex Predator came from

Lucretia: Who are you talking to?

E: Fest Magazine. They're interviewing us and I'm practising. You should try it sometime.

L: And you call me the idiot.

E: Anyway, Apex Predator is about what it would be like to feel completely safe in a place like a dark alley because you’re the most dangerous thing in that alley. Most women can tell you a story of feeling unsafe in public spaces, on dark streets, even during the day. And I wondered what it would be like to never have to feel that way.

L: It’s me! I’m the Apex Predator. We named the show after me!

E: Yes, it’s very much a black comedy, a ludicrous exploration of the fantasy of being completely safe in a dark alley. Lucretia is the self-styled 'Apex Predator', who turns the tables on sexual predators.

L: Predators! Where?!

E: When I went to clown school the whole process was brand new to me. Clowns are essentially idiots, that’s what makes them funny, and your clown is a comic persona that's totally unique to you, born out of your experiences. I wasn't expecting mine to be a charming psychopath who dispatches predators, but here she is.

L: I was a big surprise!

E: My teacher's technique was to find the story your body wants to tell. I went to clown school after escaping an abusive relationship, and I think Lucretia is my bodily response to that, part of how I processed a traumatic experience. She's my anger manifested.

L: But I’m not angry, I’m having a great time! Elizabeth thinks too much. You know the expression 'the cart before the horse'? With Elizabeth, the cart is five miles down the road and the horse is dead.

E: That’s true, I wanted to make this show because I’m tired of being afraid, but Lucretia wanted to make it because it’s fun and she’s a clown. Because it has these two sides, people respond to it in different ways. Three different reviews have described it as "not everyone’s cup of tea", I think that’s unanimous.

L: (cackles) I’m definitely not for everyone.