Aug 3-16, 18-28 8.15 pm
After last year’s critically acclaimed debut, Emma Sidi is back and with her she’s bringing passionate, obsessive and revengeful character comedy. Think Mexican passion, soap operatic pain and transglobal heartache. We’re talking intercontinental emotion on a fringe comedy scale. With dancing. Yeah, there's that too. This is no soap opera. This is telenovela.
What was the inspiration for this performance?
My show Telenovela is basically a character comedy collage of television formats to make a completely alien structure that is both funny and heartfelt. Inspiration came in the form of the no holds barred drama to be found in Mexican soap operas, as well as Eastenders and other high-drama shows. The comedy inspiration is probably from shows like Titty Bang Bang and Reeves and Mortimer which always takes serious, yet ridiculous situations to the extreme.
How did you go about gathering the team for it?
I write and direct the show myself, but have incredible producers in the form of live comedy production company Berks Nest, who are involved both creatively and admin-ly. And our collaboration is the classic case of Katie, one of the founding members, being a close friend at university. She produced my show when we were still teenagers, and I knew she was a keeper.
How did you become interested in making performance?
I did a lot of comedy and sketch writing at university and I think life as an actor “full stop” is too harsh for me to cope with. You want to have some control and exertion of creative energy, and for me live comedy performance was the only way. The sense of possibility in every show is addictive, and that is why audience participation has become a much bigger part of my show than last year. It’s just too exciting and unpredictable not to do it.
Was your process typical of the way that you make a performance?
As most comedians do, I start with small sets, like half-drawn out sketches, at new material nights around London and then spend the year writing in the jokes and weaving together what makes sense to make a coherent show. Having said that, it’s up to the audience to judge the coherence. Hopefully it just about crosses the mark.
What do you hope that the audience will experience?
Awesome character comedian Adam Riches told me he wants his shows to give his audience the sensation of a “warm bath”. Yeah, maybe he’s just a standard creep, but I love the guy and think this is a perfect way of expressing what an audience may hopefully experience. I want them to laugh, at times to not know why and to leave the theatre covered in heady Radox bubbles. Metaphorically. Really I hope they just like it and get another drink.
What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?
My style of audience participation in this show is to involve as opposed to mock the chosen audience member, and I think this is a cheeky strategy that opens the whole show up to everyone watching. There is also an arts and crafts moment, and if I could say anything less pretentious than ‘this unlocks the inner child’, trust me, I would.