'A nice little project' is a series of performative vignettes which engage, provoke and entertain. Through spoken text and dance, I present a wry and subtle look at 'notions of niceness'. Playing with ideas of universally nice things to eat, see, touch, hear or think, I invite my audience to participate as I share thoughts and musings on ordinary and – at times, extraordinarily, nice things. The work explores issues of self and identity and the project is a continuation of my interest and fascination with creating work from an autobiographical framework. In this piece – which can be tailored to suit a range of audiences in intimate settings – and can vary from 15 minutes to 35 minutes in duration! – I interrogate the idea that 'niceness' is often used as a survival technique, masking the small ever present losses that are a reality of life.
The work has been presented at Salisbury Arts Centre, the University of Winchester, Mind the Gap Older people's community group at Salisbury Playhouse, The Arc Theatre, Trowbridge, Circomedia, Bristol and Shenandoah University, Virginia, US.
"Lee-Anthony’s 20 minutes of speech, smiling, pretty pictures and movement in A nice little project, all on the theme of niceness, provided a total contrast. The audience was drawn in by sharing, in pairs or trios, something nice that had happened that day. We then heard Lee-Anthony’s list of nice (and some not-so-nice) things, including career advice from the great Pina Bausch; dance moves, the smell of a baby’s head and a glass of wine certainly resonated with me. But, on a darker note, we learned the less pleasant characteristics and downside of being a ‘nice person’ including the ‘disease to please’. The performance (which also included passages of dancing) ended with prizes, and Lee-Anthony’s conclusion that ‘It’s nice to be important but more important to be nice’ – which she clearly is. Uplifting and thought-provoking, it was very nice to listen to and watch." - Mary Pigott, GOLive, Giant Olive Theatre, London 9/9/14
"Debbie Lee-Anthony knows well how to both engage the public and be in the moment, plus her gently, non-threateningly interactive A nice little project (about being nice and not-nice and lots in-between) was just the right antidote to Ben’s broodingly beastly RE: redrum. Debbie’s a fine performer, a fluid mover with a good speaking voice and a persona (exaggeratedly sweet or tart and yet real underneath) that invites you into her fun, thought-provoking and unintimidatingly interactive show. In this genuinely nice and tasty 20-plus minute work Debbie delivers thought-inducing content – both factual and autobiographical – in a memorably winning manner entailing text, movement and non-threatening audience participation." - Donald Hutera, GOLive festival, September 2014