Friday, 1 July 2016

Exactly like Dramaturgy: Lotte @ Edfringe 2016

Joe Brown and Matt Whayman present 
August 4th-28th
15:10 (1 hr)
Underbelly, Cowgate (Venue 61)

Spoken word artist and actress Lotte Rice presents her debut one-woman show Exactly Like You, combining her gifts as a performer and a poet to present a modern story drawing on the electrifying songs of Nina Simone, directed by Fringe First Award winner Kirsty Patrick Ward (CHEF, by Sabrina Mahfouz).

A girl wakes to find a strange man in her bed and spends the day piecing together what happened the night before. Lost in a lonely city, she summons one of the twentieth century’s most inspiring figures, Nina Simone. This brand new show from Lotte Rice is driven by poetry and bubbling with wit.

What was the inspiration for this performance?

Good question! There are quite a few actually. Needless to say Nina Simone was a huge influence- I have always listened to her music but got particularly absorbed by her work just before I had the idea for this piece. I wrote a short play first- a spoken word performance piece really – which is what this play is based on. But also, I came to Edinburgh in 2014 and saw so many amazing female performers. Lady Rizo was one. The most fabulous woman with the most sensational voice just DOING HER THING. Also, Jessie Cave, an incredibly honest, observant and hilarious comedian commenting so brutally on the anxieties and neurosis that so many women share. Basically, lots of women doing their thing.

How did you go about gathering the team for it?

Beautiful serendipity really, and with help. My producers have been incredible at getting me into gear for making decisions, and my director has a fantastic network of brilliant creatives who she has admired or worked with before – lighting, sound and set designers.

How did you become interested in making performance?

I trained as an actor at RADA, which involved largely script based acting. Which I love! But I’d always secretly written poetry and short stories, and harboured dreams of singing and a few years ago I started tentatively putting some of my own work out. It was partly due to wanting to challenge myself. As an actor you never know how long the periods of thumb twiddling between jobs are going to last, so it became a sort of side hobby. But then when it was suggested I write a play, I thought the challenge would be a really great way of developing new skills and learning new things.

Was your process typical of the way that you make a performance?

No. As I said, I am used to working collaboratively, bouncing off of other peoples ideas. This has been a very novel experience for me, a lot of time alone with my ideas, but luckily I have some fantastic producers who have been supporting me from the start, so it hasn’t been lonely!

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

I hope that they are uplifted and inspired. I hope that they are entertained. I hope that they are encouraged to take the time to listen to the music that they love more often!

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

I’m not sure I completely understand the question, but I will answer as best as I can! I was keen to create an intimate cabaret experience blending theatre, singing and spoken word for an audience who like to be taken on a journey and entertained. 

I am working closely with a sound engineer, who is doing some fantastic work with sampling bits of music and creating effects to help the audience understand time passing and the internal life of the character.

Do you see your work within any particular tradition?
I suppose storytelling and spoken word.

Lotte Rice graduated from RADA in 2011. She has since been taking the spoken word circuit by storm, regularly performing at scratch nights across London.

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