Liz Clarke: Cannonballista, grief, coping mechanisms and superhero alter egos!

September 8, 2017 by

Cannonballista is a show about grief, coping mechanisms and super hero alter egos! It brings together Sheds, cannons & ridiculously high heels in a way that I’m pretty certain has never been seen before!

Originally from Newport, I am a Bristol based performance artist and this will be the first time I have performed my  solo-work in my home city.  The show combines live art with cabaret and theatre, and will also include live music on stage.

Cannonballista has been a long while in the making and has been inspired by many things along the way. The show is an unhinged celebration of our struggles and triumphs and the things we do to get us through. Meet Betty Bruiser – the ‘ One woman husband and wife team’ She’s a human cannonballer and my alter ego. She’s on course for the biggest jump of her career, perhaps the biggest of all time. She has gathered the elite audience together for this very show! She’ll let you know all about her glittering career, her brushes with death and her big plans for Liz (that’s me). She doesn’t do small talk, doesn’t have time for grieving and has a penchant for blue lamé.

Betty is of course a metaphor (Shhhhh! Don’t tell her!) for the inner strength that lies inside all of us; something I have been very privileged to witness in my work with women over the past fifteen years. Through sharing my performance processes and facilitating people to explore their strengths through performance and devising; I have heard untold bravery, determination and courage. These ‘ordinary women living extraordinary lives’ inspired me to explore further, through various artworks including a graphic novel featuring some of these glorious characters  and a programme of workshops dedicated to finding peoples’ superhero alter ego.


Cannonballista reflects upon my own dealings with grief and how this changes over time, how we reconcile different parts of ourselves as we age. Betty thinks that is all really tedious and so is never far away to add her own anarchic spin on things, and to make sure the audience focus on the important things in life; namely HER!

Earlier this year I began working with the Riverfront, Newport on presenting elements of Cannonballista for International Women’s Day. Betty turned up, put her shed up and invited people to undergo some quick-fire transformations. We had a riot with the women of Newport, who needed very little encouragement!  With the support of Arts Council Wales and we are now working with isolated and excluded groups across South Wales, especially people with a lived experience of mental health issues.

To accompany the show and with the generous support of ACW and Awards for All Wales I am running workshops for women with and without experience of mental heath issues who would like to discover their own Super Hero Alter Ego!

Open workshop: 16 September 2017, £5 a ticket

Please email for more info and to book a place

21 September 2017, 7.45pm

The Riverfront, Newport
Tickets (link –


21 October 2017, 8.00pm

The Brunswick Club, Bristol

Tickets (link –


January 2018, date tbc

Sherman Theatre, Cardiff / 029 2064 6900


3 February 2018

Arts Alive, Crickhowell / 01873 811579

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