Friday, 15 July 2016

Apocalypse Dramaturgy: Theo McCabe @ Edfringe 2016

Aug 3-14, 16-29 1.30pm

Hot on the heels of smash-hit comedy B-
musical Vampire Hospital Waiting Room, which garnered rave reviews and an off-West End transfer, Beach Comet debut their brand new comedy, featuring a live band, original songs and the end of the world. 'A feast of daft, dark comedy and brilliant songs.' 

What was the inspiration for this performance?
Our company was formed creating a show called Vampire Hospital Waiting Room – which was an in-joke at our student theatre, that someone needed to create a show with that name because of the abundance of chairs, doctors coats and vampire capes in the props cupboard. 

That Idea stuck in my head as an interesting show to make because it was a title that had everyone and talking and laughing before anything had even been done. I think a big part of why it worked was because of the rule of three – vampire capes, hospital gowns and chairs – Vampire Hospital Waiting Room.

To make our second show we decided to try and expand on the same formula – so chucked three new ideas together, including a b-movie horror threat and a location, to try and make a catchy new title. Hence Apocalypse Cruise Ship Love Affair. After we had the title we just kind of wrote it, using any influences on those topics that we could find on the internet. One thing that comes to mind was a beautifully crafted essay on luxury cruising by David Foster Wallace.

How did you go about gathering the team for it?
It was largely the same team as Vampire – who I know through student theatre. Also a few people who were recommended from others already in the team. Many of the key performers and creatives come from improv troupe The Improverts of which I was a part at University.

How did you become interested in making performance?
My fathers a jazz musician and I have performed music from as young an age as I can remember. Theatre came a bit later but it’s all part of the same thing. It’s an addictive hobby.

Was your process typical of the way that you make a performance?
Yes. We spend lots and lots of time thinking and planning and not doing anything – and then have a few mad rushed weeks with the team putting it all together.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?
Laughter and light hearted entertainment. Pleasure?

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?
We tried wherever possible to make it funny and make it entertaining.

Do you see your work within any particular tradition?
Tons really, we kind of fit into the university-centric comedy troupe tradition a la Cambridge footlights – particularly as the majority of us are from a 30 year old university comedy institution.

We’re also from the tradition of cheap student theatre. We borrow a lot from pantomime, and silly, densely plotted English musicals like G&S. We also take a lot from Garth Marenghi and Tim and Eric and many other modern comedians who like to make things that are deliberately bad.

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