Monday, 1 August 2016

Dandy Darkly’s Dramaturgy Mouth: Dandy @ Edfringe 2016

Dandy Darkly is the heart and soul of the Fringe, an utterly unique performer who must be seen to be believed.

Venue: CC Blooms (venue 171)                 
Tickets: Free show presented as part of PBH's Free Fringe
Dates: August 6 to August 28th (not 17th)            
Time: 18:45 (55m)

What was the inspiration for this performance?

Dandy Darkly’s Myth Mouth! was partially inspired by the spate of unfortunate celebrity deaths we’ve experienced as of late. Looking at such luminaries (Prince, Bowie among others) as contemporary pop culture deities. From there the show considers information (data and the written word) as it’s shared in our modern day society. 

No longer does the church have a stranglehold on the written word, but rather science, information technology and social media have become our proselytizers and street preachers. This year’s stories consider mankind’s modern addiction of the internet (and other substances) as a means to commune with our digital Gods.

How did you go about gathering the team for it?

I’m a solo performer, so I write and perform all of Dandy Darkly’s Myth Mouth! Returning, however, for this fourth show are my incredible musical collaborators Adam Tendler, Rachel Blumberg and Bryce Edwards who help Dandy create his immersive atmosphere with beautifully crafted accompanying soundtrack to his tales of sex and death. Director Ian Bjorklund returns as well.

How did you become interested in making performance?

I’ve always been a storyteller. I’ve got recordings of me at five years old telling ghost stories and my grandfather was very influential in the sharing of such Southern American oral traditions.

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

The creative process continues to evolve for creating a Dandy Darkly hour long show. This year’s Myth Mouth! was actually conceived completely before I began writing anything. Traditionally I’ll have an idea for a story or two and from there I’ll consider the connective bits and overarching themes. This year everything presented itself ahead of time. 

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

I aim to give an audience a truly immersive storytelling experience that also speaks to contemporary issues with a dash of satire and cheek. 

Dandy’s latest show explores themes of religious extremism, substance abuse, creative inspiration and our worship of social media via allegorical tales concerning a junkie Persephone, space puppy Laika, virtual reality romance and Cha-Cha the Caveman! Dandy cites folklorist Joseph Campbell, recent celebrity deaths, his childhood love of mythology and personal struggles with addiction as influences for writing Dandy Darkly’s Myth Mouth!

In past years Dandy has tackled difficult issues such as gun violence, misogyny, gentrification and political correctness with a delirious delivery that shifts seamlessly between camp panache and caustic bitchery. He regales his wondrous tales of humanity and horror alongside a nonstop soundscape of prerecorded music composed by long time collaborators Adam Tendler (piano), Rachel Blumberg (percussion), and Bryce Edwards (bass, guitar). Ian Bjorklund returns as director. The show is peppered with eclectic sound effects to create a truly immersive storytelling experience. 

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

I always bear in mind the need to keep things simple, while also amping up the use of heightened language and literary flourishes. This show incorporates more sound effects than my prior productions, so certainly judicious use of such was key in considering the overall immersive quality of the stories.  

Do you see your work within any particular tradition?

Very much the Southern American tradition of oral storytelling as well as the time honored hysteria of gay camp and satire.

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