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Lisa Gornick - Drawing On The Bottle Interview

Lisa Gornick premieres her show Drawing On The Bottle to Camden’s People Theatre as part of the Camden Roar.

The live drawing show is a unique, novel, experience that feels like a stand up show alongside a film being created in front of your eyes. The drawing unfurls as stories are investigated with audience interaction. This show is about alcohol. A substance that feeds the social and economic life of Camden but also destroys the health of 28% of its citizens. I was one of them. Started out as a party girl ended up as a lonely solo drinker in my flat opposite the forum.

Lisa Gornick

Vibrant tragic comic stories from the experience of booze, both good and bad. But mainly bad. A live interactive show using drawing, comedy, pathos and music to explore the attraction and then bad marriage to ethanol. Not preachy but realistic. Stories from the times spent feeding regret with cheap co op vodka. To hugs from the young staff at the co op when I stopped. The real truth behind the comfort of strangers. This is a show for everyone who’s ever had a drink in Camden, who wants to think about drink. For people who want to be entertained in a truthful and connected way with ink on paper, a microphone, music - easy set up but deep insights to allow us to reflect on our relationship to alcohol.

Ahead of the show we caught up with Lisa to learn more.

Where did your arts career begin?
My career began, probably as a character stand up comic in Edinburgh playing a depressed, tragic chanteuse swooning around the audience philosophising on life and singing made up songs. Then I got into acting in other peoples plays and films. I then studied film and made some films.

What can you tell me about the show?
This is a live drawing show: its real time projected drawing which accompanies me telling tales, memories, insights into a microphone alongside music. My aim is that it feels like a very intimate piece of DIY cinema. 

How did you approach the writing process for the show?
I wrote reams of diary and drew lots of drawings. Then I began to just perform them with a collaborator watching and saying what works or not. Having someone out there witnessing helps to focus the rehearsal process. Fine tune the ideas and drawings. As the premiere approaches, the fine tuning builds. 

It’s quite a personable piece as you talk through your own journey and alcohol, how would you describe that journey now?
I have said good bye to alcohol. I hope for ever. I don’t want it back in my life. I don’t want to give booze another penny or my cells to have clean out another drop of it. However, I do feel I have to take care that I don’t think, oh why not, let it back. No, I got to a place with alcohol where I detest it for me. But thank you alcohol, I can’t stop drawing you.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in the process to bringing the show to the stage?
For this show, it’s the most revealing I’ve ever done. As we get closer to opening day I feel the sense of exposure. But then I hope someone, one person, feels a sense of connection with it. But this is a daring one for me. I’m still feeling this right now as I write. I cant deny butterflies are all around me.

What keeps you inspired?
Keeping listening. Watching people. Remembering to draw. Remembering to take care of myself. I’m more inspired now without being tired from drink. Just using my senses. Engaging with the thoughts and minds of people I don’t know. 

What do you hope an audience takes away from seeing the show?
I’d love people to have a little think about alcohol. To maybe think about the stranger in the street and show them care. To start to love the stranger. And to start drawing. See it as a way of a natural calming mechanism. Get a notebook and draw, instead of using a substance. I hope also people are entertained/inspired to think thoughts they already had, new thoughts. I loved to move theme. I’m looking forward to journey of this live drawing show with audiences. They are the major ingredient to build this show with me.

Lisa Gornick self portrait.

Where can people see the show and follow your journey beyond?
It’s premiering at The Camden Peoples Theatre on Friday 7 and 8th June at 9pm. I’d love people to connect with me. At the moment it’s best on instagram but you can drop me a line too on
Drawing on the Bottle is part of the Camden Roar, and will be  performed at the Camden People’s Theatre from Friday 7th June – Saturday 8th June.

Tickets can be found at and the full Camden Roar Festival programme can be found at

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