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BANGTAIL - Peckham Fringe Interview

Baddest Cowboy Texas. These are just a few words to describe the Baddest Cowboy in Texas. He roots n’ toots n’ rides from the highest mountain to the booziest saloon. That’s his God-given purpose. But what happens when a Badder Cowboy-er Texas-er (AKA his nemesis) rides into town and steals his title?

Saddle up for this wild cowboy clown romp, following Alan, a man in search of his manhood, from the desert to the desk.
BANGTAIL marks the first collaboration between Lil Wenker and Cecily Nash, creators of Ed Fringe hits CRAP BALLET and TROLL.

In a series of interviews focusing on Peckham Fringe we caught up with Lil Wenker to chat about the show. 

What can you tell me about your show?
BANGTAIL is an epic tale of a man in search of his manhood. So saddle up for an hour of unbridled cowboy clown chaos as our hero journeys from the Wild West to the American office.

BANGTAIL marks the first collaboration between myself and Cecily Nash, with a goal to create the perfectly stupid marriage of American and British clowning. The show’s momentum has been so exciting—we received two award nominations at the Leicester Comedy Festival and sold-out at Pinch of Vaults. Most recently, we completed sold-out US tour with stops in New York City, Minneapolis, and Chicago. In addition to Peckham Fringe, we’re also doing Brighton Fringe, and shows in Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, at the Pleasance, and the Museum of Comedy before heading to the Pleasance for Ed Fringe. 

Where did the inspiration for the show come from?
My dad is the most wonderful, soft man in the world. I mention a keyring I like in May, and he gifts it to me the following Christmas. He chokes up when he talks about what he’s thankful for on Thanksgiving (though he tries to hide his tears by “going to stir the gravy”). He works as an accountant for an animal feed company in Minnesota, and in his free time, he likes to go solo camping.
When I was a little girl, my dad and I would stay up late to watch classic westerns. I loved the theatricality, the music, the costumes of these movies—and the rituals that tied together the genre. And mostly, I loved how much my dad lit up as the heroes, every time, saved the day.
There’s something naturally funny about a man as soft as my dad aspiring towards the manliness of Clint Eastwood. It’s a classic desire, a Don Quixote figure wanting to be the hero of his story despite being completely ill-equipped. So I started with this concept: an accountant wanting to be a cowboy. Though the show has changed so much since this initial idea, I always try to come back to this first inspiration. 

How have you approached bringing your show to life?
Since this is a clown show, Cecily and I have relied almost exclusively on gigging to test material. We spend hours and hours discussing story structure, character arc, and narrative points, but the real work happens when we get in front of folks. I’ve done over 50 gigs at various comedy nights around London, constantly trying new ideas or versions of ideas we’ve had to test. 

I also write all the time. I write about what the show means to me, what themes I want to come across, a list of all the funny things I want to include in the show. I write after every gig and every version of the show to reflect on what worked, what didn’t work, what surprised me, what charmed me, etc. You get the gist. And lastly, I listen to so much music that reminds of my dad and/or makes me feel like a tough cowboy. 
If you were a biscuit, what would you be and why?
I would be a flaky buttermilk biscuit, because I am a delicate young lady and also American where biscuit means a doughy, delicious, buttery bread.
What keeps you inspired?
The small tragedies of the everyday, neighbourhood cats, and the absolutely vibrant community of performers all around me in London!

What do you hope an audience takes away from visiting Peckham Fringe?
Honestly, I hope that people go and see something that surprised them! There is SO much talent in this city, and this festival is such a great opportunity to see some folks’ work who you might not otherwise take a chance on.  

BANGTAIL plays at Peckham Fringe on May 31-June 1 at 8 PM. Tickets are available from The show will also play at the Edinburgh Fringe this summer. Visit

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