Giulietta Tisminetzky on How to Kill a Chicken

Written by Gigi Tisminetzky with Music by Laura Reznek, How To Kill a Chicken aims to spark conversations around abuse at a time when three women are being killed every fortnight by a current or ex-partner.

Tisminetzky performs the play, directed by Ella Rowdon, as part of Riverside Studio’s four-week long Bitesize Festival which provides an opportunity for inspiring and innovative theatre, and live performance-makers to showcase their work.

Ahead of opening, we caught up with Tisminetzky to discuss what it’s like to be performing at the festival and her inspiration for the play.

Q&A with Giulietta Tisminetzky

What can you tell us about How to Kill a Chicken? 

How to Kill a Chicken explores love, sexuality, and the complexities of female identity. Set against the backdrop of Costa Rican shores, the play takes audiences on a tropical rollercoaster filled with passion and unexpected twists. Supported by Women’s Aid, our aim is to ignite conversations about abuse against women and shed light on the nuances of consent and freedom in relationships. 

What can you tell us about your role in the production? 

I wrote How to Kill a Chicken with the intention to delve into the complexities of consent and the female experience. The play stems from my commitment to raising awareness about violence against women, personal liberation and empowering survivors. Through this play, I hope to amplify the voices of women and initiate crucial discussions about gender dynamics. 

How has the rehearsal process been? 

The rehearsal process has been incredibly rewarding. It’s been a collaborative journey filled with passion, dedication, and a shared commitment to bringing this important story to life. Each member of the team has brought their unique perspective and expertise, contributing to the depth and authenticity of the production. Our dramaturg and director, Ella Rowdon, has delved tirelessly into the complexities of the script with sensitivity and empathy, ensuring that every moment on stage resonates with honesty and emotional truth. Laura Reznek’s music injects the play text with poetry, her violin creates a world that takes your breath away. 

What is it like to be performing at Bitesize Festival? 

Performing at Bitesize Festival is an exciting opportunity to showcase our play to a diverse audience and engage with fellow artists and theatre enthusiasts. The festival provides a supportive platform for emerging voices in the theatrical community, and we’re grateful for the chance to share our story on such a dynamic stage. The collaborative spirit of the festival aligns perfectly with our mission to spark meaningful conversations and create positive social change. Shoutout, Riverside Studios have supported us in our outreach efforts providing us with space to hold our free self defense class for Women’s Aid fundraiser. 

What do you hope audiences take away from the play? 

We hope that audiences leave the theatre feeling moved, inspired, and empowered. How to Kill a Chicken isn’t just about entertainment; it’s about sparking conversations, challenging perceptions, and fostering empathy. We want our audiences to reflect on the themes of consent, female autonomy, and the impact of violence against women long after the curtains close. Ultimately, we aspire to ignite a sense of solidarity and collective action in the fight against gender-based violence.

How to Kill a Chicken is at Riverside Studios from 13 to 18 February