Home » Homepage » Camden Fringe » Camden Fringe Interviews and Previews

Camden Fringe Interviews and Previews

Image result for camden fringe 2016 

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



INTERVIEW – Improvised Theatre Focus

Brendan Way, Performer, talks about The Parentheticals: Improdyssey

The Parentheticals: Improdyssey

What’s the theme of your show?

Stories and adventures! Who doesn’t like those? Nobody. And if they say they do, they just haven’t seen enough good ones.

What’s new or unique about the show?

Half of our show is a fully-improvised epic quest. The audience suggest the title. Previous tales have included The Quest for the Green Tambourine, The Quest for the Occasionally Magical Watch, and The Quest for the Chocolate Shovel in Summer.

How did the show come into being?

We played our first Camden Fringe in 2016 with a variety of formats (including our improvised epic quest).

This year, we decided our group’s USP would be the epic quest, so worked on expanding from fifteen minute stories to narratives that are twice as long. Those adventures will now close each of our shows.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

We arrive in our rehearsal space (former offices with windows that don’t open). We try not to get distracted by the Ping Pong table in reception. We warm up with noisy joyful games that usually involve shouting silly ideas without thinking. We run a few full quests. We succumb to the temptation of Ping Pong. We run some more stories. We finish the sessions on a high by calling it a day after a great adventure or an energetic game.

How is the show developing?

Great. We have a few options for fun games we could play in the first half-hour of our show that will win the crowd over, get them shouting out suggestions, and get everyone psyched.

We will pick our favourites, then just run hour-long shows as much as we can before August.

How has the writer been involved?

As improvisers, each of us is simultaneously actors, authors, and directors, so all nine of the writers have been involved from the very beginning. They are all very excited.

How have you experimented?

We have adapted existing games (we added singing). In our stories, we are increasingly picking unlikable people as our heroes or seeing what happens when the protagonist ultimately decides their desired object is not worth seeking.

Where do your ideas come from?

All of our scenes and games are directly inspired by the audience suggestions.

The quest is indirectly inspired by every single story we have ever heard or seen.

How do your challenge yourself or yourselves?

One game forces us to convey the entire plot of a famous film or book within a minute. Another sees each of us compelled to enter or leave a scene whenever we hear a certain word.

Sometimes a few of us try to speak in unison. It does not always go smoothly.

What are your future plans for the show ?

We love our quest format and we love having an hour to play in, so we will aim to take it to other festivals.

What are your favourite shows, and why?

Glitch – The Improvised Puppet Show. Our coach (and Narrative Improv God) Mike leads this group. They are joyous silly fools. Also, PUPPETS!

Project2. It’s improvised Science-Fiction (already cool) with an ace soundscape.

Show dates, times and booking info

The Parentheticals: Improdyssey is at The Water Rats (King’s Cross, London) as part of the Camden Fringe.

Saturday 5th August – 3:30-4:30PM.
Sunday 6th August – 1:30-2:30PM.
Tickets are £6.

Book here

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



INTERVIEW

Joe Wright, Writer and Performer, talks about Astronaut

Astronaut

What’s the theme of your show?

The theme of Astronaut is homelessness

What’s new or unique about the show?

The project itself is a multimedia theatre piece.Created from true events and delivered mostly in spoken word.

How did the show come into being?

In 2016 homelessness in Ireland reached record breaking figures and a group of grass root activists occupied the Apollo House on Tara Street in Dublin.There aim was to house the homeless and get them of the streets.As the building was a NAMA owned building (Meaning if you payed taxes technically you have slight ownership ) .This made for conflicting arguments between the public and the government. The writer of Astronaut Joe Wright places the agenda of tackling and ending Homelessness as a Hugh priority and This “Apollo” Movement really ignited a response

Describe one of your rehearsals.

The piece has a lot of different flows and temperaments so the main focus for the first few has been delivery .The words come thick and fast and when the energy builds certain flows become shadowed temperaments. The projection has not been used yet in rehearsal.

How is the show developing?

Really good actually , When the script was first created it seemed like the redrafting was never ending .Everyday something new comes along .The finale pieces of film will be filmed in Dublin next month

How has the writer been involved?

The writer is also performing in the show , Writer Joe Wright and Director Emily Matthews have worked together for the few years and both amplify each others strengths .Emily brings her direction along with her devising skills which keep the script on its toes

How have you experimented?

The piece originally started out as an intermedial piece but both Emily and Joe felt the show was better served as a Multimedia piece . Raw footage of dublin streets and the writer himself spent some time living on the streets and plans to do so leading up to the shows

Where do your ideas come from?

Every day events
Music .
A fall from the sky

How do your challenge yourself or yourselves?

Well constantly working on different projects and different styles .Last year Joe and Emily created stage productions ,site responsive Pieces, Site Specific Pieces ,Immersive promenades ,Live Art Pieces and Intermedial Pieces.

What are your future plans for the show ?

The future is bright , after Camden we look to take it to Dublin as it is coming to the one year anniversary of the Movement we believe a charitable Production will be produceded

What are your favourite shows, and why?

Lion King – Never forget to play – Art is fun

The Curious Incident – The entire production between Sound stage and performance is captivating

Love + (Mallaprop Theatre Comapany) A two hander which never stops moving .The energy is fantastic

Show dates, times and booking info

16th to the 18th of August @ 7pm at the Moors Bar Theatre

Book here

Company web site: http://www.1nehundred.com



INTERVIEW – Some history theatre

Matthew Jameson, Writer and Director from The Heretical Historians talks about The Trial of Le Singe

The Trial of Le Singe

What’s the theme of your show?

It’s the true story of ‘The Hartlepool Monkey’: During the Napoleonic Wars, a shipwrecked monkey who washed ashore in the North-East was mistaken for a French spy and put on trial for treason.

It’s a ridiculous story, that we’ve found relates a lot to our own age. There’s a distrust of continental Europeans, a pride in our island mentality and a time of ludicrous uncertainty for everyone.

Suffice to say, despite these serious undertones and parallels, it’s a balls to the wall epic farce, it’s a silly story about a monkey after all.

What’s new or unique about the show?

We’ve put the trademark HH madness into making this our most outlandish show yet.

There’s a punk element to the show, in our design, our backing music and our interaction with the audience. It gives us license to be as anarchic and relentless in our performing as possible. It helps us work in the themes of working class anger and nationalism that run throughout the play.

It’s unique in the sense that we are, so far, the only company to touch this story and bring it to the stage that we know of. We always strive to tell unknown stories in order to share them as widely as possible, in such a way that they can be accessible to everyone.

How did the show come into being?

In 2015 we were asked by a festival in Essex to bring a story that would be funny and quite dark. So Lloyd [Co-Producer] and I crafted a daft 20 minute version of the story. It tapped into the refugee crisis that was beginning around the same time, which we assumed would be resolved fairly swiftly, and that the show would only live as a 20 minute one-off.

A new writing group (Plays Rough London) I’m part of planned a night in February this year based on the theme ‘Where Are We Now?’, and after a year of Trump, Brexit, a rise in nationalism and a continuing (!) refugee crisis this seemed like a story that still needed to be explored. So it was re-written and turned into a 30 minute piece at The Old Red Lion. From that we were invited to be part of The Space’s summer season, the rest is… Well, ridiculous history!

Describe one of your rehearsals.

We start with a basic written script that gets us from A-B and then we’ll be immediately up on our feet to find a way to make it work on stage!

We always have a lot of energy and it’s great fun to be in the room, we were mates first and collaborators second so there’s a lot of banter and laughter, which definitely bleeds into how we are on stage.

It’s a very collaborative process, everyone gets a say and free reign about how they interpret their characters. We do also have a lot of round table context sessions, to take the show from being just a bit of fun to a fully fleshed out, historically accurate world.

How is the show developing?

Very well, as the show has just recently been performed, we’re in the process of re-working a few bits. It’s mostly officially incorporating the ‘happy accidents’ that came out in performance and that were so funny we needed to keep them in.

We’re having a play with casting at the moment, as we have such a strong cast of character actors, we think there can be an extra level of chaos to add by changing a few of us around. There’s a lot of really exciting combinations we’re exploring.

How has the writer been involved?

He’s always in the room and always watching his work be besmirched. He’s me.

In all seriousness, as so much of our style is slap-dash and self-aware, we have a lot of asides as actors and ad-lib a fair bit, which is wonderful, as it shows how engaged and unflappable we are as a team.

I’m happy to treat the script like it’s jazz: So long as we keep the main story moving and main dialogue tethered to what’s written, then riffing around and improvising gives a much more exciting and spontaneous, unique performance.

How have you experimented?

So much of our work depends on the connection with our audience, meaning we always learn a lot when we perform. It’s all about finding the elements that work, and those that need to be altered, and we can’t know for certain in a rehearsal room. So after a lot of debriefing from our previous runs we have a firmer idea of where to play more and where is a safe bet.

Where do your ideas come from?

They’re the little titbits of stories that you’ll find hidden in footnotes of serious histories or in the dark corners of the internet (not the same dark corners you’d frequent though) or just good old fashioned picking up stories from the pub. It’s all about the absurd incidents that aren’t deemed worthy of most historians.

We’ll find one that really tickles us or parallels a contemporary issue and speaks to us, and then we’ll dive into research, look at the personalities involved, the historical context and work out how to build it up (or trim it down) to 60 minutes.

How do your challenge yourself or yourselves?

We’re at the point with the show where we’re trying to make each other corpse on stage, as well as being good fun, it’s important to make sure that we can keep a straight face in the midst of our own chaos, and stay present enough to play with each other and keep it lively.

What are your future plans for the show ?

There’s many exciting things in the pipeline, such as we’re hoping to hit Edinburgh next year. We’ve just had a successful crowd funding campaign and we’ve been receiving some very flattering attention, which makes us think it can be viable after several years staying away due to budget prohibiting us.

We’re also deciding which show we want to develop next, and there’s a few options, it’s hard to pick just one!

What are your favourite shows, and why?

We’re huge fans of Kill The Beast, they just have such a wonderful way of creating rich distinctive worlds, full of surreal mayhem combined with simple but effective staging and tech.

Mischief Theatre are an inspiration, as they took something that was a fringe labour of love and turned it into a slick, polished, hilarious, international titan. Not to mention being the greatest farceurs of our time, and they’re millenials too!

The highest praise we’ve received in my mind is a comparison to The 39 Steps, which is my favourite ever production. With 4 people, telling such an amazing story in such a simple way, is a perfect example of just how effective theatre can be. Not to mention budget friendly.

Show dates, times and booking info:

Sunday 13th- 16th of August 2017 Everyday: 9:30PM (60 Minutes)
The Water Rats Theatre Bar, 328 Grays Inn Rd, London WC1X 8BZ
Tickets are priced at £8 (£7 concessions) or £6 (£5 Cons.) for the Sunday preview

Book here

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

 



INTERVIEW

Paul Blinkhorn, Director from Chilling Out Theatre,  talks about The Boot

The Boot

What’s the theme of your show?

Love, regret and deceit

How did the show come into being?

The play was delivered as a fully finished script, but underwent additional development in rehearsal with the writer.

Describe one of your rehearsals.

We have an eclectic cast who all bring a great deal of passion to the production; one actor from the North West, one actor originally from Greece and another from Germany.

How is the show developing?

The play is really beginning to take shape. I’ve had the pleasure of directing work from the writer (Peter Briffa) on three occasions previously (two theatre productions and one audio drama).

How has the writer been involved?: The writer and I have a pretty strong working relationship having worked together on several occasions previously. He was in on the first few days of rehearsals and has continued to have input throughout.

How have you experimented?

We often uses theatre/ actor training exercises as a way to delve into the material.

Where do your ideas come from?

The writer has a very furtive imagination.

How do your challenge yourself or yourselves?

The most used phrased you’ll hear coming from my mouth are ‘lets do that again’ and ‘what are you thoughts?’. Though the play needs an overarching vision I do feel it important to encourage the actors to take joint ownership of the project.

What are your future plans for the show ?

It would be an ideal situation if we were able to transfer the play as part of a more substantial run.

What are your favourite shows, and why?

Anything that plays around with form and audience expectations.

Show dates, times and booking info

The Hen & Chickens Theatre
109 St Paul’s Road, London, N1 2NA
Thu 17 Aug 2017 9:00pm
Fri 18 Aug 2017 9:00pm
Sat 19 Aug 2017 9:00pm
Sun 20 Aug 2017 9:00pm

Tickets: £8.00

Book online: https://www.unrestrictedview.co.uk/the-boot/

or here http://www.camdenfringe.com/show.php?acts_id=1039

Twitter: @ChillingOutProd #TheBoot

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


Check back here regularly for more interviews at Camden Fringe.