Friday, 30 January 2015

Interview with Emma King, Theatre Jinks

First of all, can I ask you about Theatre Jinks: what is the mission of the company, and how did it start?Theatre Jinks' roots sprouted in 2012 when Cat Elliott and myself studied together on the Diploma in Physical Theatre Practice at Fife college. We studied puppetry as part of the course and that is where our interest in puppetry began. Once graduated, we started attending any puppetry workshops we could find to develop our skills.

Is manipulate a good place to share your work; do you share any affinities with PAS?
Manipulate is a brilliant festival, this will be the third year I have attended (first year as part of the programme). There is always a great mix of work on offer for audiences interested in animation, physical theatre, puppetry and visual theatre. The Snap Shots artists@work slots at 6:05pm during the festival are a great opportunity to display new works in development. Work is presented and then there is a question and answer session with the audience. It's really useful platform to promote new companies and new work.

Horror- seems to be a theme in this year's festival! What attracts you to the subject, and why visual theatre/puppetry as a medium?
Horror is a very rich theme, it can be very subtle and menacing or extreme blood, guts and gore. When we started developing our ideas for Knock Knock... We decided we wanted to create a performance in the style of a horror for young people. 

For younger audiences I sometimes feel performances can be a little too safe, and having horror as an element really pushes you to see how far you can go and still ensure it is suitable for your audience. Horror is an element of most stories. Puppetry and visual theatre was the natural choice; horror is mystery, magic, suspense and fear and I really feel that these mediums represent those in different and interesting ways. 

 Puppet Animation Scotland have been an integral part of our professional development with them running Manipulate masterclasses and regular workshops with Rene Baker over the past couple of years. 

As Theatre Jinks Knock Knock... is our first venture into creating a piece of visual/puppet theatre. Puppet Animation Scotland have been supporting us through the process, enabling us access to meet with established puppeteers and Theatre makers, notably Rene Baker who has been mentoring us throughout and Richard Medrington. 

Identity is another powerful theme to address - is it related to your exploration of horror, and are puppets good performers for such a discussion?
Identity is related to our exploration of horror, but actually I would say it is maybe the other way round. Puppets are really good at exploring identity, because they can be representative of so many things. 

We have been exploring twins as part of our development, and puppets have been very useful for this because you can really present two characters who are actual replicas of each other, but are completely different. 

(I have this big idea that Oedipus was the first horror story, and it is all about identity - I am going to ask you whether you think there is anything in that idea?)
Oedipus...yeah I think there is horror in there,and definitely identity, I feel that the horror comes from the curse/prophecy which follows him, there is no way out for him, he is fated to fulfil it

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