Thursday, 9 June 2016

Pirate Dinosaur Dramaturgy: Oliver Lansley @ Edfringe 2016

Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs 2: The Magic Cutlass
Pleasance Courtyard (One), 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9TJ Wednesday 3rd – Monday 29th August 2016 (not 16th), 10:30
Flinn is back! Les Petits Theatre Company (Adventures in Wonderland) return to the high seas after their hugely successful and award-winning Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs rollicked the rigging and spliced the mainbrace! The Magic Cutlass is the hugely anticipated sequel based on the award-winning book by Giles Andreae and Russell Ayto.

When Flinn, Pearl and Tom are in the middle of their school play their old nemesis, Mr T the T-Rex, appears and kidnaps the children forcing them to hunt for the secretive Magic Cutlass - a sword that grants the holder any wish. The children are whisked away for another fantastic adventure to a world of devious dinosaurs, deep sea dangers and smelly sausages. It's all aboard, me hearties, for a real life pirate adventure!

Will fearless Flinn be able to outwit the pirate dinosaurs? Will Pirate Pearl be brave enough to battle the dangerous dinos and will terrified Tom be back in time for tea? All aboard for a non- stop action packed theatrical experience with live music, puppetry and dastardly dinosaurs!

What was the inspiration for this performance?
This new show is a follow up to our hit show Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs, which was inspired by the brilliant children's books by Giles Andreae and Russell Ayto. pirates AND dinosaurs - what is there not to love!?

How did you go about gathering the team for it?
We draw from a pool of people who we've worked with before or whose work we've admired from afar. We pull in a lot of people from our grown-up sister company Les Enfants Terribles to encourage them to use their skills for a younger audience.  On this occasion we’re working with a fantastic director called Hal Chambers who we previously worked with on our Olivier-nominated production of Alice's Adventures Underground, where he was the puppetry director - he's worked on everything from the Lorax to Warhorse so we though he would be the perfect man to bring our Hippos to life!

How did you become interested in making performance?
Personally I've been interested in it since I was a kid, doing everything from school plays to local theatre. I love theatre and I think as you grow you want to find new ways to discover and explore it, making your own work is an expression of this.  A lot of it starts from seeing something and being inspired - this is one of the reasons we branched into children’s theatre to try to give kids these sort of formative experiences of performance.

Was your process typical of the way that you make a performance?
Yes and no. There's always similarities and you find ways of working that suit you. But, likewise, every show is unique and working with new collaborators always keeps things fresh.  With a show like this that involved characters who aren't human so much of the development process becomes about how you are going to bring them to life - whether it's puppetry, mask, make-up or physicality it's always a really fun exploration and there's so many different ways it can go.  Also, the challenge of a picture book like this is how to capture the magic of the book but also extend it into a full length stage show.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?
Joy. I think a show like this just needs to be fun, boisterous and joyous. With kids there is no filter so you have the opportunity to transport them totally to a different world.

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?
You just draw upon previous work and experiences but, at the same time, you push towards inspirations and new things you might not have explored before.  At the end of the day you just have to make what excites you and what you believe will be entertaining.

Do you see your work within any particular tradition?
Our shows can all be quite different so they probably fall into many different camps. I think the one thing they share is a sense of theatricality and a passion for story telling that ties back to the oldest traditions of the theatre.  At the end of the day it's just about telling a good story.

Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs 2: The Magic Cutlass is brought to life by Les Petits, the exciting children’s theatre company from the team behind internationally-acclaimed theatre company, Les Enfants Terribles (Alice’s Adventures Underground). Les Petits aims to ignite children’s imaginations through the magic of theatre and storytelling.

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