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Show Programme

What Makes A Body Terrifying?

Performed at The Hope Theatre 15th- 18th August 2022 as part of The Camden Fringe.

This production of What Makes A Body Terrifying? is part of a project supported by public funding from the national lottery through Arts Council England.

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If you have trouble viewing these pages, paper copies are also available at The Hope Theatre upon request. 


Bodies of water. Bodies in space. Bodies together. Bodies alone.

Who taught you to be scared of the sea? What stories did you hear? What powers of persuasion did they use?

What Makes a Body Terrifying? is a queer exploration of two strikingly similar folk tales: the Slavic Rusalke and the Celtic Selkies. These two folk tales centre around mythical sea-people who shed their skins and become dangerous, beautiful human-forms: seducing sailors and luring them to their deaths. This piece explores how they use narrative and rhetorical devices to create fear, and how this parallels with the fear generated against queer bodies.

With curiosity, this piece asks questions about how we are persuaded to be scared of the sea, to understand how we are persuaded to be scared of others.

Join the Not-god complex in an hour of playful exploration of gender and femininity through folklore. Expect a dip into the world of myth, and a vivid gesture toward contemporary notions of fear, as we ask: What makes a body terrifying?


Cast and Crew

The show was Devised by The Not-God Complex Ensemble: Bethan Barke, Zoë Glen, and Billie Grace 


Performer: ensemble and Selkie 

Zoë Glen

Performer: ensemble and rusalke

Billie Grace 

Director and Dramaturg

Bethan Barke


Sound Designer -

Rebeka Dio

(with music from/ by 'Dongó' Balázs Szokolay)


Stage Manager and designer 

Holly Gifford


show Technician

summer Keeling



Eilidh Northridge

with special thanks to:

our venue, and all their staff

The Hope Theatre

Our funding body

arts council england

Our Rehearsal spaces

The miller pub and enter the venue

and The camden fringe festival

About The Collective
The Not-God Complex

Named in rejection of the god-complex methodologies found within theatre, The Not-God Complex is a theatre company with a dual focus on performance-making and community engagement.


The Not-God Complex centres their work around an aim for inclusive practice. The aim of the collective is to create in a way which promotes acceptance, openness and a healthy and accessible approach to theatre-making and training; a determined move away from the 'god-complex'  figures and methodologies often found within the world of theatre.

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