Monday, 29 June 2015

A Small Medium of Dramaturgy: Lou Conran @ Edfringe 1015

The Fringe

GKV: What inspired this production: did you begin with an idea or a script or an object?

Lou Conran: As a stand up I’m constantly looking for inspiration for my work, but they say talk about what you know, and my show is basically the story of, or rather a story of my life. 

I wrote a script about seven years ago based on a college I go to with my mum, and it’s only now that I’ve sort of felt brave enough to actually talk about this subject in the first person instead through characters I’ve created.

Why bring your work to the Edinburgh Fringe? 
It’s the mecca for comedians, and it’s a great opportunity to have your work seen by audiences that wouldn’t ordinarily get to see your stuff.

What can the audience expect to see and feel - or even think - of your production? 
Well: firstly my show is in a caravan, so I’m hoping the anticipation of seeing a show in a unique venue will pique their interest. They can expect to hear a true story that is fascinating, whether they believe in the subject matter, or not. I’m hoping they will feel intrigued, and think that they have been apart of something unique and special. 

I am also hoping that they will go away thinking that what they’ve heard is possible, or at the very least leave questioning the subject matter. It’s not my intention to try to convince people that what I’m talking about is all true, it is mostly my intention to tell my story and if the audience leave with a different opinion of what they’ve heard (if they were cynical in the first place) then that would be great for me.

The Dramaturgy Questions

How would you explain the relevance - or otherwise - of dramaturgy within your work? 
The composition of the show is the key to its success. When telling the story, it follows the need for the highs and lows, and to maintain the audiences interest, these highs must keep them wanting more, so the composition is continuous as the more times the show is performed natural the peaks and troughs become more apparent, and help the show evolve.

What particular traditions and influences would you acknowledge on your work - have any particular artists, or genres inspired you and do you see yourself within their tradition? 
I am inspired by good story telling. Billy Connolly will open a story, continue on to another story, continue onto another story, then proceed to close, close and close, it’s a great foundation and one that I have tried to emulate.

Do you have a particular process of making that you could describe - where it begins, how you develop it, and whether there is any collaboration in the process? 
With this particular show I had the seed of the idea which I brainstormed over and over again to see where there was a common thread. I knew I had various stories to tell, but I had to identify which ones would be key to the story. 

By discussing with friends the I realised the key points of interest were quite clear but I had to find the natural thread to lead the story. So I had each story on index cards on the floor and I basically played chess with them to see where the natural highs and lows were. But these weren’t clear until previewing the show to see which bits worked and didn’t, and if they would work better in different areas of the show.

What do you feel the role of the audience is, in terms of making the meaning of your work? 
Every show is different. Every audience is different, so the part they play is key to the journey of the story. If they come expecting a certain thing and it’s not what they anticipated then their energy can change the environment of a show completely. 

If they’re open minded and willing to go with it then the show takes itself on a journey and hopefully the audience, and it generally makes the show a joy to perform.

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