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Camden Fringe Interviews and Previews

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Here are our interviews and previews with makers of fringe theatre, comedy, cabaret, dance and more…



Kate Bishop talks about Improv Deathmatch

Improv Deathmatch

What’s the theme of your show?

Improv Deathmatch is an adrenaline-fueled improvised comedy show where each night two teams go head to head in the ultimate battle to see who can make the audience laugh hardest and be crowned the winner. It’s like “Whose Line is it Anyway?” but where the points do matter! Following a sold-out run at the Camden Fringe in 2015 which included recommendations by Time Out, the Evening Standard as well as Fringe Review, Improv Deathmatch returns bigger and better in 2016.

Each evening our teams will be put through their paces in an epic series of fast paced games and scenes weaving in suggestions provided by the audience. At the end of each round the audience decides who wins the points to take through to the final round and deliver the knockout blow! One team will emerge as the winner, taking with them glory, admiration (and some small plastic medals), whilst the other team will be consigned to history as losers. Join us at the Aces and Eights comedy arena and watch improvised comedy of gladiatorial proportions.
For the Camden Fringe six teams of London’s best short-form improvisers will battle against each other over 4 weekends to be crowned the ultimate Deathmatch Champions for 2016. Featuring guest performers from all over the London improv community, each night we create a completely different show which you’ll go away laughing from.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

We play games! After a warm up we play short form games and then focus on scene work using tools from long form improv, work on characters and setting scenes

What’s new or unique about the show?

The points actually matter in this improv competition and even though there has not yet been an onstage death we have some very fired up team captains this year. Front row audience – you have been warned!

How did the show come into being?

We wanted to involve our audience even more – their laughs and votes are crucial to this and no amount of bribery can help.

How is the show developing?

We have more structure to the format of the show and now ask the audience for even more outlandish and unusual suggestions. Everyone loves a spatula but we enjoy pushing our audiences a little more.

How has the writer been involved? Or describe the process of creating this work.

Alastair and David came up withe concept and we have built on it as a group through performances and rehearsals.
They are the real heroes though

How have you experimented?

With different games and formats to see what game works where in the line up
We involve guest performers from other groups which is great fun as they always bring a new dynamic to the show

What are your favourite shows, and why?

Left Foot First – excellent characters!
Sandy & Danni – because their dating stories are so true!

Show dates, times and booking info: Show taking place at Aces and Eights 156-158 Fortess Road, Tufnell Park, London NW5 2HP
dates time ticket prices concessions Sat 6 Aug 2016 10:15pm £5.00 Fri 12 Aug 2016 10:15pm £5.00 Sat 13 Aug 2016 10:15pm £5.00 Fri 19 Aug 2016 10:15pm £5.00 Sat 20 Aug 2016 10:15pm £5.00 Fri 26 Aug 2016 10:15pm £5.00 Sat 27 Aug 2016 10:15pm £5.00

Booking info here

Company web site: http://www.cityimpro.com



Rebecca E. Clarke from Pigs With Wings Productions talks about Lady Parts

Lady Parts

What’s the theme of your show?

The overarching theme of LADY PARTS is equality. It’s about finding the freedom to think for yourself which I hopefully demonstrate through mildly inappropriate euphemism, a touch of anarchy and an Italian cruise ship.

What’s new or unique about the show?

The show contains a a foul mouthed Glaswegian Guru specialised in environmental/ sexual welfare, a twerking Scouse social mobility mogul and Mancunian showgirl gender ambassador.
Together they form a living breathing northern powerhouse.

How did the show come into being?

I wanted to find a way to tackle issues close to mine and many other hearts without becoming a mad woman standing on a soapbox incoherently crying about the state of life the universe and everything. I Initially gigged using the individual characters in different areas of the UK until I felt their stories had developed enough resonance with a cross section of the population. Which did on occasion provoke a number of tumbleweed situations and panic induced rashes! I then began the task of weaving together their tales into somewhat linear narrative whilst maintaining their individual punch. I tried it out last month in Liverpool, which despite a tiny tiny technical melt down, was well received and it’s now ready to ‘come into being’ in Camden.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

Director (Ciaran O’Driscoll): Right so everything about Guru is in the breath, she’s always in a half animalistc state … go and sniff the projector.

Me: like this?

Director: No. One long sniff … Great then walk forward and sniff the audience through your lady parts. Now pony that ukulele and ride off stage left.

How is the show developing?

Quite nicely I think. The hardest part now is integrating the multimedia with the live action. the ‘quick change’ has always been a great nemesis of mine and this show requites a lot in order to maintain the pace and feeling of integration.

How has the writer been involved?

In every way possible 🙂

How have you experimented?

Well, there are aspects of this show that need to be gauged carefully. The character of Guru Harmony can be a bit of a live wire. But also I believe the key to the show is the humanisation of characters that could very easily become caricatured. Feminista started out as a warped version of Jane Horrocks in a showgirl costume whereas now she’s far closer to me as her story is the closest to my own.

Where do your ideas come from?

I’d say a mixture of experience and imagination. I’ve always had a tendency to collect, often singularly mundane, odds and ends of life and then attempt to rebuild them in a way that I can understand and enjoy. Then I invite others to come and play in these worlds with me.

How do your challenge yourself or yourselves?: I work with a director whose tag line is – ‘I challenge you Rebecca because nobody else does’.

What are your future plans for the show ?

I’ll hopefully be working with LadyFest in Manchester this October which may involve a whole new re-imagining of the show. I’d also love to work in conjunction with the Women Of the World festival next year so fingers crossed I can get representative in to see the show here in Camden and then I suppose there’s the natural inclination to take it to Edinburgh Fringe next year, bank balance be willing.

What are your favourite shows, and why?

My favourite shows tend to be the ones that truly alter my perceptions of either storyline or the way theatre can be constructed/reconstructed but then again a catchy soundtrack will almost always win me round.
I am Thomas – by Told By An Idiot
The Nether – by Jennifer Hayley

Show dates, times and booking info: 10th – 14th Aug 2016
Etcetera Theatre
Book here

Company web site: http://www.pigswithwigs.co.uk



Artistic Director, Lata Nobes from Sneaky Rhobus Theatre, talks about Not About Heroes

Not About Heroes
What’s the theme of your show?

Our play is being shown as part of the First World War centenary partnership, 100 years since the Battle of the Somme. Stephen Macdonald’s play, Not About Heroes, is about the friendship between the two war poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, when they met at Craiglockhart War Hospital in 1917.

What’s new or unique about the show?

The play is written for two actors only. Our actors, Stan Carrodus (Sassoon) and Andrew Crump (Owen) not far off the age of Wilfred Owen at his death in 1918, rendering the performance particularly poignant. The story is told by a combination of dialogue, letters, poems and extracts from Sassoon’s memoirs. The narrative is told in an unusual way, giving a different insight into the almost clichéd horror story of the First World War.

There are a number of difficult issues explored over the backdrop of the war, in a subtle and respectful ways, including the complexities of mental health. Wilfred Owen’s shellshock would now be identified as PTSD. Both poets were also openly gay, with their true relationship still left ambiguous. As well as the remembrance element of the piece we are celebrating the sexuality of both poets: something which is not always discussed in relation to their work.

How did the show come into being?

Our production was first shown at St Hilda’s College, Oxford last year, where the director and actors met as students. The youngest actor, Stan, who plays Siegfried Sassoon, is still studying English Literature at Hertford college. The director, Lata Nobes worked with both actors in two separate productions, and after reading the play had an immediate image of both actors performing together. The connection between Stan and Andrew creates an incredible energy on stage.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

Because the play is particular dark and sometimes traumatic in character, our rehearsals are very intense experiences, with highs of emotions of all kinds. The intensity is increased by the presence of only three people working together. We have a collaborative mood in which we try and discuss different ways of performing a scene or certain lines within that scene. Often we leave blocking open to changes each night because our aim is to create an organic performance which is totally believable and therefore more powerful – an idea expressed by Mike Alfreds in his book ‘Different Every Night.

Show dates, times and booking info: Lion and Unicorn Theatre
3:30pm 26th, 27th and 28th August

Company web site: http://www.notaboutheroesplay.com

Book here