Monday, 15 June 2015

Plagued by Dramaturgy: PLAGUE OF iDiOTS@ Edfringe 2015

The Fringe
What inspired this production: did you begin with an idea or a script or an object?
Damien Warren Smith: The Plague of Idiots met while doing the second year Clown module at École Philippe Gaulier in 2013. In the final week we got together and decided to form a company and take a clown show on the road. We knew a lot of graduates from the school who had solo clown shows or group shows with elements of clown but we didn’t know any groups who had attempted to take the clown we had learnt in its ‘pure’ form and deliver it to the general public. 

Why bring your work to the  Edinburgh Fringe?
We did a bit of an Australian festival tour earlier this year and although we had discussed the possibility of doing Edinburgh we weren’t sold on the idea. Then on our final night in Adelaide Karen Koren from the Gilded Balloon came along and offered us a spot there so we jumped at the opportunity. 

What can the audience expect to see and feel - or even think - of your production?
The audience can expect to see the unexpected. Dance moves that defy logic, attempted Shakespearean soliloquies that provoke hysteria, musical sonatas that offend the senses, and toilet paper disappearing up more orifices than you can poke a stick at. 

The Dramaturgy Questions

How would you explain the relevance - or otherwise - of dramaturgy within your work?
We had a comedy consultant come in and work with us for 3 days and this would, I guess, be the closest thing to dramaturgy we encountered. It was very useful in helping us understand the arc of the show.

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?
Our show is heavily influences by the work of Philippe Gaulier as we all met while studying with him in 2013. It begun as very much a ‘pure’ clown show however it now involves a bit of character comedy. 

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?
We mess around and try to make each other laugh. We find it really useful to keep moving around rather than sitting and discussing ideas. Sometimes we suggest a topic then go split up into small groups and come up with a scene.

What do you feel the role of the audience is, in terms of making the meaning of your work
The audience is crucial to the development of clown work. Especially early on in the process when we just have no idea what is funny. The longer we do the show the better an idea we have of what is and isn’t funny.

PLAGUE OF iDiOTS are all graduates from the internationally renowned theatre school of Philippe Gaulier who trained actors such as Sacha Baron Cohen, Simon McBurney (Complicité) and Emma Thompson, as well as recent festival favourites Dr. Brown, Trygve Wakenshaw and Lucy Hopkins. The company consists of five actors: Richard Kimberley (England), Laurent Mallet (France), Fanny Duret (Switzerland), Giorgio Vierda (Italy) and host Damien Warren-Smith (Australia).

Cal McCrystal is a renowned director who specialises in comedy and clowning. He directed the original The Mighty Boosh stage show which won the Perrier Best Newcomer Award in 1998. In addition to his extensive theatre work he has recently been called upon as physical comedy consultant on films such as The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The World’s End, and The Dictator.

Previews 5th-7th Runs 8th-30th August
Previews £5, Mid-week £9.50 (£8.50 Concession), Regular £10 (£9 Concession)
60 Mins, Rated G

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