Monday, 20 June 2016

The Elixir of Dramaturgy: Thomas Gorham @ Edfringe 2016

Elixir
Underbelly's Circus Hub on the Meadows 
(Venue 360)
22.00 4 – 22 August (not 15)


Winner: First and Foremost Entertainment Award, Brighton Fringe 2015. Elixir is circus like you have never seen before, uninhibited by cliche or expectation, subversive and hilarious at the same time. 

The story follows three bumbling (albeit handsome) scientists who attempt to create the elixir of life. The mayhem that follows is a beautiful mix of incredible acrobatics and impeccable comic timing. 

Acrobats fly five metres into the air on the teeterboard, spin upside down in the mesmerizing cyr wheel, perform incredible one-arm handstands on wobbling canes and balance on nothing but their heads on a swinging trapeze.


What was the inspiration for this performance? 
The performance was inspired by several elements of pop culture,
the zombie apocalypse fascination, video game culture and of course high level circus artists.

How did you go about gathering the team for it? 
The original members of the team bonded over the construction of one of the props used in the show, the teeter board. We both wanted to make a  teeterboard so we could practice outside of circus school, that is how Cal and myself met and became friends, from there it was only a matter of time before we started practising together and realised we could work together.

How did you become interested in making performance? 
I was originally attracted to circus through breakdancing, I really enjoyed the freedom of movement that breakdance practice had given me, and I decided to get formal training in an artform that i could use my movements to make a career. At the time I hadn't done much performing, only training. Once I realised I could say and do as I please on the stage, I was hooked.

Was your process typical of the way that you make a performance? 
We always brainstorm before hand. Sometimes for days or weeks before we even get into the room. A lot of the time we spend laughing as we come up with crazy ideas to test. You would think that there is a lot of training in a room but really most of the time we have all the tricks we want to use in a show, the real magic  is in how you present your idea.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?
An immensely joyful and uplifting feeling for an hour where they get to laugh, gasp in amazement and leave raving about what they saw.

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience? 
By being hilarious, and amazing acrobats. Easy ;) haha our show is very much a comedy show, there is equal parts physical comedy as there is physical prowess.

Do you see your work within any particular tradition? 
I believe our work is currently breaking tradition in circus. The current circus trend is to present a show that has an absence of narrative, often only the performer themselves has any idea of the story or meaning to the work, the rest is left up to interpenetration of the the individual audience member. We are going against this trend, our show is a fully narrative and action packed hour.



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