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Amsterdam Fringe Interviews 2015

Interviews with theatre and arts makers at Amsterdam Fringe.

Are you performing at Amsterdam Fringe? Send us an interview.

 

INTERVIEW: Kira Kool talks about Superficial Supremacy

super1

 

What’s the theme of your show?

Superficial Supremacy is about the representation of the female human being. It is about the power of the media and how it forces our thoughts into one way of thinking.

 

What’s new or unique about the show?

The sewing machines. They are integrated into the show as a musical instrument and as symbolize power. The whole performance is composed with rhythmical dialogues and choreographed movements. The show is absurd, chaotic, over the top and funny.

 

How did the show come into being?

Over a year ago I inherited a sewing machine from my grandparents and thought: I have to do something with this interesting object! And so it began… I thought of which themes would apply to the sewing machine. Eventually the theme ‘power’ came up, because of the penetrating sound the sewing machine makes and how it creates this militant vibe.

 

How is the show developing?

The show was part of my final exam that took place in June 2015. Not all the performers can join me at the Fringe, therefore I have three substitutes joining us. The ladies have been practicing their American accent and will be giving the show a new touch with their presence. Also I am editing some scenes to make it even better. After our first performances, people gave me some advice and I’m working it out in this next edition.

 

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

I’ve written the show myself, I’ve directed the whole lot and I will be performing in it. This is the first time I ever wrote something myself. I did compose some music before, but writing lyrics was never really my cup of tea. I challenged myself to create everything from scratch for Superficial Supremacy. It was a difficult process, but eventually I succeeded. To think about it, I don’t really know how I did it. I remember wanting to write a scene in the style of Bob Ross. So I watched a lot of videos, I thought of what I actually wanted to say with the specific scene and started writing. It isn’t poetic or lyrical, but it works. It says what I want it to say and that’s the point of it all, I guess.

 

How have you experimented?

We started rehearsing without any music, text or other existing work. At first I wanted to get to know my performers so I could create the performance based on their talents. We started rehearsing by improvising, figuring out what our thoughts were on the theme. This way I wanted everyone to become engaged to the subject. I think this really helps during the performance, because everyone has developed their own opinion on the matter. Therefore each individual is part of the story we’re telling. After the improvisation rehearsals I started writing. My performers have played a very important role in the writing process, by inspiring me with their improvisation.

 

What are your favourite shows, and why?

One of the shows that has inspired me to do Superficial Supremacy is the show Bimbo, by Boogaerdt & Van der Schoot. Not only did the subject really hit me but also cherish the authentic performance.

 

Show dates, times and booking info

To buy tickets, visit: http://amsterdamfringefestival.nl/programma/superficial-supremacy/

Performing dates are:
Tuesday 8th of September at 19″30
Wednesday 9th of September at 21″30
Thursday 10th of September at 19”30
Friday 11th of September at 21”30

The show is performing at Ostade A’dam, Van Ostadestraat 233d, 1073 TN AMSTERDAM (ZUID)

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

Watch the promo video

 

INTERVIEW: Shira Keller talks about Dodo: The Resurrection

dodo1

What’s the theme of your show?

It’s an (anti) magic show, about a man who got stuck in his life, being a bored civil servant, living the life everyone is expecting him to. During the show he ‘becomes’ his dream. It’s about belief. About the fact that anything is possible, as long as you think out of the box.

We think magicians (at least our two magicians) can be compared to dodos, because they’re equally strange, they’re misfits in the art scene.

The show flirts (hopefully in a good way) with kitsch, fakeness, over-the-top sentimentality, and is kind of weird at times.


What’s new or unique about the show?

I like the fact that Chris and Woedy (the magicians) don’t take themselves and their profession too seriously. They’re skilled, but they don’t show off. They only use the magic to create a surrealistic, weird world of their own.

 

How is the show developing?

We’re still in the process of making the show. Still working on tricks, building illusions, working on the acting. It’s fun but hard work. We’ve got two crazy weeks coming!

 

How have you experimented?

A lot! Actually that’s all we do. Every day the show comes together a little bit more.

Show dates, times and booking info: http://www.duo-dodo.com/en

Company web site: http://www.duo-dodo.com/en

 

 

INTERVIEW: Sam Morris from Orange Tea Theatre talks about Strange Divide

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What’s the theme of your show?

While we hear every day about the latest advances, it’s still all about what you can get NOW. It only takes a mental leap of 15-20 years into the future (remember the year 2000?) to see that once technologies like speech recognition, AI, 3D printing, lab-grown meat and more come together, our world can be dramatically different, while retaining all the absurdity and foibles of what it means to be human.

 

Describe one of your rehearsals

Because this this was developed from scratch by member s of our Orange Tea ensemble, a lot of early get-togethers were thrashing out ideas about structure and story, punctuated with discoveries and subsequently discussions of amazing advances in all fields of science and technology.

Once Esther O’Toole’s script was relatively finalized, it was time to roll up the sleeves and get into a more regular rehearsal process. A lot of time is going into balancing the show – keeping it engaging, funny, insightful and a little bit absurd. We’ll play a scene a few different ways to see how it fits best with what’s around it.

 

What’s new or unique about the show?

We’ve never heard of a Sci-Rom-Fi-Com before! A lot of the time, sci-fi can be the three D’s; dense, dystopian and…dull. Either that, or it’s a pastiche or send-up of the genre. Strange Divide is a comedy at it’s heart, but set just enough in the future to touch upon some of the questions we’re going to be faced with as technology marches ahead, but society and ethics are still tying up their shoelaces.

 

How did the show come into being?

In the distant past, this was an idea about online dating. Maybe even an online dating musical. But…shhh, that’s this shows version of the embarrassing childhood photos that your parents show your new girlfriend… A few members of the company are science and tech nuts, and the impact of science on our lives is becoming ever-more visible (when hasn’t this been the case? The printing press was pretty damn revolutionary…but AI or human-created synthetic/biological conciousness is something… different.)

The alterations in our manner of relating to each other that technology allows (forces?) are a fertile field for inspiration, and that’s the common thread with the online dating musical. This is, in some ways, a logical extension of paths we’ve already set ourselves on.

 

How is the show developing?

Great! We’re in the final stages, so now it’s working in the details of how to effectively communicate the slaughter of virtual reality zombies when your audience can’t see them. Y’know, the usual things any show has to do. (The answer, by the way, is lots of squelchy sounds, among other things.) We’re also planning for how we’re going to market the show during the fringe – we may be the first theatre company in history to have had a virtual reality app specially developed! We’ll be showing it off at the Uitmarkt, and also during the Fringe itself.

 

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

Esther O’Toole is the writer, but it’s also been a process of group dramaturgy right from the start. Once we had a final draft, Esther got some well earned rest as we started rehearsing, but she’ll come back to rehearsal once a week or so to solve any problems or tweak things that aren’t working. Sometimes, it can be a hellish process for a group trying to mount a production if the writer won’t stop meddling, but because this has been a combined effort from the very start, moving from devising to more individuated and specialised roles, it fits nicely with the ethos we like to work with as Orange Tea.

 

How have you experimented?

It’s said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Maybe we’re not THAT far in the future, but we’ve certainly had to find ways of showing things on-stage that are in fact, impossible right now. What does it mean for a molecular printer to be on the blink? How does that sound? How does someone interact with a holographic psychotherapist AI, beamed directly into their home? All these things need to be different, yet recognisable; separate elements of a world that share some kind of design philosophy. It’s taken some lateral thinking, but we think we’re there!

 

What are your favourite shows, and why?

Between ourselves as a cast, we’ve got more than 200 years of working in drama and theatre, so you can imagine, that’s a lots of shows to choose from. Any good production has something that really hooks you, and if you’re really lucky, many or all of those elements work in concert to create something truly memorable. We’ve got a lot to be proud of as Orange Tea, but each member of the team would give you a different answer as to something that has truly influenced them. Personally, I would cite Kneehigh’s adaptation of ‘Nights At The Circus’ by Angela Carter, and Sean Mathias’ Waiting for Godot with Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. Both were incredible, for totally opposing reasons.

 

Show dates, times and booking info: Strange Divide
A sci-rom-fi-com by Esther O’Toole
Directed by Lora Mander
Performed by Orange Tea Theatre
Duration 60 mins, €11
Sep 3rd, 20:30
Fri 4th, 17:00
Sat 12th, 17:00
Sun 13th, 17:00

All performances at Het Amsterdams Theaterhuis
http://www.amsterdamstheaterhuis.nl/contact

Fringe Festival Page
http://amsterdamfringefestival.nl/programma/strange-divide/

Direct Tickets Link
https://fringe.voordemensen.nl/index.php?event_id=141

Cast & Crew info
http://www.orangeteatheatre.com/on/strange-divide

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

 

 

INTERVIEW: Quintijn Relouw,  creator & performer,  talks about BARRERA

barrera1

What’s the theme of your show?

The genre of BARRERA is what we have called crooked clowns.

The show is about two clowns who have lost their best friend, a red balloon. This balloon is the reason that they came together as clowns and started a collaboration. And now that the balloon is gone they are Mourning. Where ever they go, they have to live up to the expectation of being a funny clown. Two bottles booze a day keeps them on their feet.

Sometimes they lighten up, and feel a little bit like their old selves. But as soon as they get reminded of their dead friend it all starts over again.

 

Describe one of your rehearsals.

Pff.. im tired man..
Yeah me too, but we really got to work.. first try out in 3 days!
-okay okay.. First a ciagrette okay?
*.. yeah okay, you’ve got sigarets?
– come on man.. buy your own for once will you??
* i will i will..
Okay man, lets start with the drunken bottle dance scene.
– … the balloon eating scene?
– naahh..
*no let’s do the bottle dance, that has to me much quicker and more spot on
– don’;t know.. i’m not feeling it today
* so? we have to work.
– yeah but i’m so tired, that everything i do i’;ll do half, that’s a waste of energy.. i want to but i can’t
* but.. try-out.. .fuck sake
– i’m going for a smoke
* give me one, I’ll grab some beers.

 

What is new or unique about the show?

That everything about the show is made in Bilboa. All the clothing, the tools, the short movies, all the rehearsals. Everything within one month

In BARRERA we show the curse that rest upon a clown. There is no time to mourn, you’re a clown.. Be funny!
We use different realities by using video projections. In these three very short videos we explain the audience why the clowns are so fucked up.

We perform BARRERA in the basement of an old 19th century canalhause. This is no theatre, it is a basement. Nothing more nothing less.

 

How did the show come into being?

Aleksej and i are both master students on a theatre school in Amsterdan. On our school we got the opportunity to go to Bilbao for an exchange with a more physical theatre orientated school. We went to Blbao for one month, so one month the time to create a show. We had all kinds of physical theatre lessons and clown was one of them. In this lesson we experienced so much freedom but also fear for this kind of theatre. Because everything is possible, as long as you are totally open en 1000% committed in what you are doing. But also the experience that we as actors don't matter.. It is all about the laugh, the joy, the entertaining of your audience. After just that one lesson we decided that we had to make a clown performance.

 

How is the show developing?

Better the we’ve hoped.
We have played six try outs, for all kinds of different audiences one time for 80 children, for adults, for teenagers.. Every one sees the show in a different way. And that is the beauty of being a clown. Because everyone has a funny feeling about clowns. You have no idea how often people tell us that they are scared of clowns, or that they love them intensely. And in our show, both of those feelings and expectations get for filled.

This summer we worked on fine tuning with a great clown/miming director. So we are totally ready for Fringe!

 

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

There wasn’t much writing involved. Every scene was created on the rehearsal floor. All the ideas were put immediately in to play to check how the other reacts. Because that is clowning. You don't think and then you do, no you do and then you think. 99% of all clown jokes are made that way.
This was a new way of working on a play. And because of this way of making the play, all the input was equal.

Maybe the most fun were the things that one of us just tried and the other improvises with him. And what we do doesn’t make any sense and isn’t good or funny at all.. But we just kept improvising looking if there wasn’t something to find. And it just keep getting worse and worse.. Doing something that you know is very bad can be so fun to do!

 

How have you experimented?

We worked with all the old school clown stereotypes.
So we experimented with playing cards, balloons, horns, hats, balls etc. .
Learning some tricks by checking youtube films of course.
We experimented with acrobatics, by taking lessons at the BAI school. Within this we experimented with our physical differences of the fat and skinny appearance we have.

 

What are your favourite shows, and why?

Big fan of Oliver & Hardy, all their movies. The way they were able to work their chemistry to such a high level is amazing to see. They use all the differences and stereotypes imaginable, and don’t pretend to be any more then who they are.

Big fan of the clown Leandre. His way of letting the performance develop itself, without him pushing is a direction. He just sees and feels the audience and the children on the front row, and the performance develops itself.
Show dates, times and booking info: The show plays ar  Kloveniersburgwal 53 HS, in the basement of this canal house

Friday 4 sept:        19.15 (7.15 PM)
Saturday 5 sept:    12.00 (12.00 AM)
Sunday 6 sept:      12.00 (12.00 AM)

Thursday 10 sept: 21.00 (9.00 PM)
Sriday 11 sept:      19.15 (7.15 PM)
Saturday 12 sept:  12.00 (12.00 AM)

BARRERA is maximum of 30 minutes long .
Tickets are € 7,
Tickets From: http://amsterdamfringefestival.nl/programma/barrera-2/

The Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cdtAttdRhM

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

 

More to come