Imagine talking about your sexuality for the first time in a one-person improv show.
That’s exactly what Jenifer Toksvig is doing.
‘All of my work isn’t about bisexuality,’ Toksvig explains.
Question 13: What is the substance of bisexuality? is her ‘solo conversation-musical.’
When I asked Toksvig what kind of questions she would be asking during the show, the list included the likes of ‘what do we mean by bi, what is this show and what am I doing here.’
Toksvig is a theatre maker.
She writes the words for musicals, songs, plays, spoken word poetry and other types of storytelling.
These are usually for live performance.
She explains she likes to ‘explore unique ways in which to tell story, to knit with people, language, and yarn.’
The title for Toksvig’s show, Question 13, happened by coincidence.
She was at a theatre group and filling in a form regarding what kind of show she wanted to put on.
Question 10… 11… 12….
But no question 13?
Toksvig likened the ‘invisible’ number 13 to the bisexual identity in LGBT spaces.
‘G voices are often louder,’ Toksvig explained.
And so, the writer wanted to create a show in which she could ask questions about bisexuality in an open, relaxed setting.
‘Would you like a chocolate?’
Toksvig has set up a Facebook group for her theatre company, The Copenhagen Interpretation.
Audience members are warmly invited to chat to Jenifer, as well as others planning on attention the performance.
Toksvig adds: ‘Don’t be a stranger before we meet, as well as after.’
If that’s not the only thing to entice you in, Toksvig will offer chocolate to the audience during her show.
Another question she will ask is: ‘Would you like a chocolate?’
She adds it’s the least she can do after people join her for her verbal questioning.
‘I never plan. It’s not an in depth discussion,’ Toksvig confidently tells me.
But her it’s her lack of planning that has me intrigued about the show.
‘It’s just me going, here’s a few questions. Do you want to help me answer them?’
The show is open to people of all sexual orientations, but Toksvig hopes other bi people attend.
‘I’m only talking about my own experiences and it’d be nice to hear about the experiences of others.’
‘The LGBTQ community exists in the intersections,’ Toksvig adds.
‘As with everything else in terms of gender equality, there is more opportunity for male voices for many reasons.’
This is unfortunately the truth.
Toksvig hopes to change this with her show.
‘It’s nice to see yourself represented,’ She continues.
While specifically bisexual musicals help with visibility, Toksvig adds that obviously the dream is one day there will be bisexual characters casually in all musicals.
Toksvig hopes her own open dialogue will help people connect to themselves.
When I ask if she hopes the show will make people ask questions about their own sexuality, she pauses.
Her wise response?
‘It’s healthy to ask questions, but not to question yourself.’
With that in mind, I think Jen’s completely unplanned one-woman musical will go swimmingly.
Question 13 is part of 96 Festival. It takes place on 2 February.