La Banshee is a multidisciplinary theatre and production company dedicated to empowering women by celebrating, exploring and revealing the feminine in its diverse forms.
La Banshee gives a voice to women, to women who don't have one, to women who are hurting, to women who hide, who scream, who laugh and dance; to historical, mythical and magical women; to women from there and then, to women from here and now. And to the force powering us all: Mother Earth.
Through the use of multiple art forms and calling upon folklore, mythology, ecofeminism, sound, technology, site-specific and physical theatre, our aim is to create unique, thought-provoking and magical experiences for the audience, inviting them to challenge their usual perception of the world and see it from a different perspective.
Why the name "Banshee"?
Our Founder and Artistic Director Amandine Vincent explains:
"We have chosen the Banshee to represent our company because she symbolises the power of feminine energy, the cycle of life and death, the world's ancient magic, mysteries and danger. She is an ambivalent figure. Like women, because of her immense power linked to the web of creation, to the cycle of life and death, she has suffered from an increasingly degraded image over time. Now reduced to being depicted as a scary old hag with a piercing shriek, she is in fact the descendant of the ancient Celtic gods. She travels between the visible and the invisible worlds, building a bridge between them. She embodies all at once the Pagan Goddess, the Fairy, the Sorceress and one of the Fates. She is the voice and messenger of the Otherworld. She is the scream that announces death, which, to me, is a metaphore for the scream that awakes consciousness, that tears the veil, that reveals the magic of the world or its bare reality. She manifests the power of transformation. She is the end and she is the beginning."
The name 'banshee' can be translated as 'fairy woman'. It comes from bean sìdhe or bean sìth in Irish and Scottish Gaelic, which means 'female of the fairy folk' or 'female of the fairy mound'. She is now usually represented as a dishevelled screaming female figure whose scream is an omen of death but her origins are far more complex and fascinating. Very much like Morgana who takes Arthur on his final journey to the magical island of Avalon in the Arthurian legend, or the Valkyrie who, in Norse mythology, chooses the men who may die in battle before taking them to Valhalla, the banshee eases the passage of men to the Otherworld. Read about her origins here.
Amandine Vincent is a French theatre-maker, performer, voice actress, author and storyteller. After training as an actress in Lyon (France), she attended the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She has trained with some of the leading physical theatre companies in the UK (Tmesis, Frantic Assembly, Moon Fool) and in Europe (Song of the Goat, Animal Religion).
Particularly interested in the relationship we have with our own body, creating site-specific experiences and the vast possibilities that sound offers, in 2011 she created an experimental piece at The Arches in Glasgow, Watch me Disappear, showing the devastating impact that the "Beauty Myth" can have on women. Set in a ladies' bathroom with four female performers, the show used movement, sound and testimonials. From that work, she went on to explore ways of making a much more intimate piece about similar themes, in order to take the audience on a transformative journey. This gave birth to her solo show The Secret Life of Mia, a site-specific and promenade piece using silent disco that was funded by Arts Council England in 2016.
Having a deep interest in folklore, mythology and History, Amandine draws a lot of her inspiration from that during the creative process.
She launched La Banshee in 2016.