Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Strange and Flamboyant Dramaturgy: Cabaret @ Edfringe 2015

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

I think the show was born out of our mutual respect and love of each other’s work and desire to work together! We met at Edinburgh Fringe in 2013, and have been fast friends ever since. 

Over time we’ve found our musical and theatrical styles to be quite complementary and challenging to one another in just the right ways, so why not share that collaboration with an audience? We started doing some duets last year during fringe and found that our onstage relationship, in addition to working together musically, had an energy, trust and sense of fun that audiences seemed to really respond to.

Why bring your work to Edinburgh?
Edinburgh is a globally unique gathering of artists from all forms of performance and all walks of life, the sheer diversity of work on display is staggering. And yet, it’s also a great equalizer because in such a crush of artists, it’s hard to stand out, we’re all starting from the same point. If nothing else it’s a great place to meet with like-minded artists and share work and inspirations. And as the place that brought us together in the first place, it feels only natural to bring our show to its birthplace!

What can the audience expect to see and feel - or even think - of your production?
Strangely Flamboyant is a highly interactive show. We are constantly looking for new ways to get the audience to feel invested in the show, whether it’s a big sing-along or a subtle callback to something that happened earlier, every moment is an opportunity for connection. 

Because of this, we play our instruments live, without the use of pre-recorded backing tracks to bring that immediacy to every audience we meet, and . Each show is a conversation with the audience, and is different depending on what that audience is like, and what is happening in the space at the time. In Adelaide, there was a sheep bleating outside during one show. You have to acknowledge things like that! We are all in the space together, creating the show together, sharing our time and the fun of that moment. We may sit on you. Heads up.

The Dramaturgy Questions

How would you explain the relevance - or otherwise - of dramaturgy within your work?
This one is for you Claire, I have no idea what that means.

In putting the show together to create the story or journey of the show, we started with the songs, and the intention to create a series of moments for the audience. Dramaturgy in our work is not a conscious or theoretical practice, but we developed the show with an audience to create a flow and stronger structure to the work. We had a rough collection of songs and links, and developed this over a preview season in Melbourne to shape these and play within the loose structure to find the over arching journey of the show before taking it on tour.

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?

Strangely - Strangely comes from a childhood steeped in Muppet Show Re-Runs, Prairie Home Companion Broadcasts and Andy Kaufman Tapes, he’s also spent many years as a travelling cabaret-punk-circus showman in the vein of Jason Webley and Red Elvises.

Claire - As a child I had a background in dance, and a deep love of Monty Python and the Marx Brothers, later it was Eddie Perfect, Tim Minchin, Kate Miller-Heidke, and all things musical theatre. I studied Musical Theatre at university, and since then have done everything from children’s theatre, to Shakespeare and performing old time music hall songs in nursing homes as well as my own writing as a solo artist.

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?
Often one of us will write a song and then bring it to the other and it get’s expanded into a duet form and the linking talky-bits sort of grow from there as the show builds, we try to make a bit of an arc through the whole thing so it feels like a complete experience. Eventually the goal is for all of it to feel like “us” without any of it being specifically contributed by one particular member.

What do you feel the role of the audience is, in terms of making the meaning of your work?

Without an audience our work would just lie there, many of our songs have sing-alongs or at least moments for them to muck in. When everybody has something to do it becomes so much more fun to be there. We create each show WITH the audience, not FOR them.

Are there any questions that you feel I have missed out that would help me to understand how dramaturgy works for you?
Strangely never completed Uni so he’s not sure what Dramaturgy means?

No comments :

Post a Comment