Thursday, 25 June 2015

Dramaturgy gets Slayed

Bob Slayer needs no introduction to Fringe comedy fans. For a revolutionary - his approach to Edinburgh's economic golden goose is equal parts anarchic and honest - he is a surprisingly nice man. Turns out he knows about dramaturgy, too. 

The FringeGKV: What inspired this production: did you begin with an idea or a script or an object?
Bob Slayer: Fat Jockey... well I used to be a Jockey... and then I ate the horse... I just started with that. 

There is quite a magical story to all of this but I've rarely talked about it on stage before as people tended to just stare at the fifteen stone man in disbelief. However recently I realised that if I stopped caring and explaining, well then it can also work just as well as a beautiful fiction. I'm happy for people to leave with this impression as they will also believe that I have a marvelous imagination.

Why bring your work to Edinburgh?Work? Comedy is what I do instead of that! I've now been several years clean from actually working, but I just keep taking it one day at a time! 

Why Edinburgh? Well the Fringe is simply the most fun place to do anything... As Roy Wood famously sang in his hit song: "I wish it could be Fringe time everyday!". 

Which is why this year I am performing on our own Double Decker Bus mobile venue. After the Fringe the BlundaBus will continue the party around the UK and Ireland, going to anywhere where audiences want us to go (and everywhere that they don't!)

What can the audience expect to see and feel - or even think - of your production?
They can expect to feel warm, fuzzy, thoroughly entertained and possibly learn a little as well. One woman in Leicester cried, but that could have just been wind?

The Dramaturgy Questions

How would you explain the relevance - or otherwise - of dramaturgy within your work?
I had to google that word, it sounds like a nasty virus. Oddly this is the opposite of Shingles which sounds rather like a nice game. 

The show starts at the beginning and then hilariously middles towards the dramatic ending. There may or may not be a series of sub plots involving my dad, mashed potato and bin bags? Horses gallop throughout the narrative. I believe it to be a work of high art. But then again I also believe in Santa...

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?
When I was 11 all i wanted to be when I grew up was Dave Allen. So I cut my finger off...

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?
Mostly I go out and about, I act on impulses and I have adventures. This then provides plenty to talk about: after a recent Glasgow gig a few of us went to a club... 

It was near empty and despite our little group more than doubling their numbers the self important DJ turned his nose up at requests. But we were having fun drinking shots. A little later DJ put on Limping Biscuit or some other twaddle and went off to the toilet... 

So I popped on stage... stopped the track and loudly declared:
That is quite enough of that shite... We were 'politely' asked to leave! The only difference with Fat Jockey is that these adventures happened a long time ago. Maybe 5 stone ago in fact?

What do you feel the role of the audience is, in terms of making the meaning of your work?
I steal all my ideas off other people. Mostly when they are sleeping but also I have a freewheeling late night storytelling show where we sit in the round and share, it is now called Never Mind The BusStops, this is where ideas often develop.

Are there any questions that you feel I have missed out that would help me to understand how dramaturgy works for you?
I think you have enabled me to demonstrate my understanding of dramaturgy perfectly. Thank you. See you at the fringe.

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