Talk Softly But Carry a Big Stick

Talk Softly But Carry a Big Stick is a production by Lisa Lie/Pony of No Return, first produced in 2007. (In Norwegian the production also carried the title Skogsunderholdning, literally: Entertainment in the woods).

Lie's underworld in Talk Softly But Carry a Big Stick was a world of occultism, psychoses and UFOs. The stage looked like a dream-like wood of the slightly disturbing kind. Fog laid thick, large pine trees hung upside-down from the roof and some lazy fable animals could be glimpsed in the background. The reptile host of the evening guided the audience through theories and a diversity of facts.


(Objekt ID 3299)
Object type Production
Premiere May 3, 2007
Produced by Pony of No Return
Coproducers Rosendal Teater
Based on Skogsunderholdning - Talk Softly But Carry A Big Stick by Lisa Charlotte Baudouin Lie
Audience Adults
Language Norwegian
Expressions Theatre, Performance, Stand-up comedy, Monologue, Cabaret, Fantasy, Storytelling theatre, Comedy, Post-dramatic theatre, Satire
Running period May 3, 2007  
Website Lisa C.B Lie

Requirements to venue

Blackout No

In the program of BIT Teatergarasjen the following text dealt with Talk Softly but Carry a Big Stick by Lisa C.B.Lie/Pony of No Return (excerpt):

"The evaluation of sources may be so-so, but what does it matter, as long as the confessions from real life, obscure rituals, quasi-scientific mass media and the theory about Prince Charles really being a lizard from outer space do the trick in a bloodless daily life? While the butler Carlos boils blood for the reptile host, who is sometimes collapsing from lack of blood, we’re thrown between standup, surrealism, cabaret and monologue, and we only barely hang on in the hairpin turns. Talk Softly but Carry a Big Stick is a journey through the humans' way of constructing reality. The performance moves between imagination and reality in a rapidly changing mood in which the limit between true and false and more or less wild theories is extinguished. Lie tries to rub different realities against each other, and the probability for leaving the performance more confused than you were when entering is large – though with the feeling that everything still is possible."

The text from the performance has later been published with other texts by Lisa C.B. Lie and her companion Stina Kajaso under the title of SONS OF LIBERTYs udistanserte Hongi hjerter og hjerner spiddet av enhjørningens anti-transcendentale regnbågs hallojs rosa horfluff med en twist* (Sons of Liberty’s undistanced Hongi hearts and brains speared by the unicorn’s anti-transcendental rainbow hello pink hair fluff with a twist) (The publishing house Oktober forlag, 2009)

Talk Softly But Carry A Big Stick was supported by Arts Council Norway, the municipality of Trondheim, the county of Sør-Trøndelag and The Audiovisual Fund.

The revival was supported by The Audio Visual Fund.

The production was part of Oslo International Theatre Festival 2016.


BIT Teatergarasjen, spring program 2008. 07.08.2010: arkiv

Spring program 2008, Avant Garden:

Name Role
Lisa Charlotte Baudouin Lie – Playwright
Lisa Charlotte Baudouin Lie – Concept/Idea
Lisa Charlotte Baudouin Lie – Direction
Erik Tidemann – Visual design
Trygve Brøske – Sound design
Lisa Charlotte Baudouin Lie – Sound design
Maria Radeborg – Lighting design
Lisa Charlotte Baudouin Lie – Actor
Ivar Furre Aam – Actor
Erik Tidemann – Performer
Einar Simonsen – Technician
Stina Kajaso – Consultant (Outside eye)
Harald August Nissen – Consultant (Outside eye)
Other participants
Press coverage

Amund Grimstad, 05.05.07, Review titled Lisa in Wonderland. Klassekampen [Oslo]:
"Imagination, UFO, experience, conspiracy, new age, fable animals and you name it take part in the world of Lisa Lie. (...) A trip in the woods rich in text, intelligent and humorous and filled with unexpected ideas and aphorisms."

Frida Holstein Gullestad, 05.05.2007, Adresseavisen [Trondheim]:
"As before Lie operates with a surplus of pop, trash and kitsch: Blood, taxidermy, plush, vampire stash and hot pants. This surplus is led into societal criticism precisely and wittily hitting its target."

Rygg, Elisabeth (14.05.07). Review titled Særegen skogstur* (Particular trip in the woods). Aftenposten,, 12.11.2010, [Oslo]: 
"Reality is an illusion and according to Lisa Lie most of us have been kidnapped by aliens. The text is filled with thoughts and ideas about fable animals, UFOs, psychoses and nightly fantasies. Talk Softly but Carry a Big Stick has no director. Perhaps an outsider could have provided some opposition to the energetic performing artist underway. But this is her show and her style. She doesn't settle. It makes the trip in the woods an understated experience for the especially interested."

Leinslie, Elisabeth (11.05.2007). Review titled Et overflødighetshorn av tekst og hendelser* (A cornucopia of text and events). Scenekunst,, 12.11.2010, [Oslo]:
"In The Theatre of Cruelty these days an obscure existentialist-political-satirical standup ritual is taking place. Or should we call it a tragicomic trip into the darkest woods of the human mind? Or perhaps an entertaining standup performance criticising our boring everyday life? It isn't always easy to categorise performances, especially not hybrid works such as these. Just that is a liberating experience; that performing artists sometimes blow away the conventions for what performing art is and shall be."

Landro, Jan H. (28.03.2008). Review titled Verbal voldtekt* (Verbal Rape). Bergens Tidende,, [Bergen]:
"The action consists mostly of speech, speech, speech - words, words, words. Sometimes she talks in paradoxes and aphorisms. What she rattles off after having «effortlessly» hypnotised us into «another dimension» sometimes has some of the unclear logic of dreams and a structure as unclear as life itself. (...) Lisa Lie goes through her performance with scenic conviction and surplus. But I still can’t free myself from the feeling she has to lead her will to experiment and challenge into a more constructive path."

*Not yet translated into English. The title within parentheses is the Norwegian title's literal meaning.