An interview with Nikki Kennedy
Article  by Cassandra Ramsay @cassramsay
The female best friend. Films have made an art out of it, media and reality TV celebrate its destruction and even history highlights the relationship as one of the significant ones throughout a person’s life.
Beaches Love Power is a performance work that explores the sensationalised ideal of female best friend relationship and the duality and conflict involved. The work will compare two specific relationships – the friendship between Mary Queens of Scots and her cousin Elizabeth the first of England, and the friendship between CC Bloom and Hilary Whitney in the 1988 film Beaches (starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey).
The project is being developed with the support of Wollongong Faculty of Creative Arts Sydney artist Nikki Kennedy, performers Rebecca Hanlon and Caitlin Kearney and director Erica Brennan.
The idea for the work began to form when Nikki was looking at a way to use the letters between Elizabeth and Mary. “These two were both rarities in the 16th century – educated, clever women in positions of power” says Nikki.
“I wondered what they would have achieved if they stuck together and meshed the rulership of England and Scotland. And then one day I remembered that in the film Beaches CC and Hilary write letters to one another, and I made myself laugh at the thought that the two stories are very alike.”
Nikki hopes to use her time at Crack Theatre as a testing ground, and use the feedback from artists and audiences to further develop the project in 2014. While her work with Sydney based performance collective Applespiel has given her a chance to collaborate with some of the most promising emerging artists, her own independent works visual imagery in performance and dance.
Beaches Love Power reflects my inability to settle into one form of theatre, and my desire to put everything onstage all of the time. It reflects my need to find and ridicule the ridiculous and to make big images while explaining intricate details.”
A rich work and a passionate team both with potential to grow, this is one work at Crack Theatre Festival not to be missed.