Friday, 2 September 2016

Dramaturgy in the Timing: Ben Rigby @ Edfringe 2016

Chubby Hmm productions presents 
All in the Timing
6 short comedies by David Ives

David Ives’ comedic shorts have amused, challenged and surprised audiences since their first publication in the early 90’s.  

Whether you’ve wanted to swallow back words for your perfect meet-cute, imagined the creative juices inside the ‘Infinite Monkey Cage’, replayed the death of Trotsky as tragedy and farce or just fancy a sing-along to Philip Glass, this collection has something for everyone.

What was the inspiration for this performance?

All in the Timing is, in many ways, a response to bringing The Gambit to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2015.  As a company (director, producer and technical supervisor working together) we wanted something that stretched us in different ways, moving from the pure acting exercise of last year to a more anarchic and stylised production with a much lighter tone. 

Is theatre still a good space for the public discussion of ideas? 

In short yes.  At it's most transcendent theatre can confront audiences and challenge pre-conceptions.  Equally theatre can be about escapism and aesthetics. It's the variety, this scale between the 2 that makes it fascinating.

How did you become interested in making performance?

I'm a late developer, with no experience or desire for theatre until I went to university to study Pure Maths.  Originally I joined the drama society to meet people & drink a lot, but over the 3 years I developed a love for theatre, both in the diverse productions we performed and the frequent trips to the northern theatres.

Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?

Using published scripts certainly impacts the way you create the show, you still have the freedom to develop characters in a way that works for you, but there are limitations to the way the script can be approached.  That said Matthew Gould is a brilliant director, encouraging us to try different approaches to each sketch, stretching the performers to explore each scene.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

Primarily we want them to laugh.  'All in the Timing' is a classic collection of sketches that completely sideswipes the audiences, with the absurdity of the situations.  Whether it's Philip Glass facing an existential crisis or Trotsky's imminent demise slowing dawning on him as he sits with a mountain climber's axe buried in his skull. 

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

There are 2 main strands to this, on the one hand we deliberate chose a venue (Greenside @ Informary Street) where the audience are close, and with a corner set up, allowing audience members to see each other across the stage.  We also ask audiences to choose the order of the sketches, which is proving especially popular for fans of David Ives.

Chubby Hmm productions comprises of director Matthew Gould and producer Ben Rigby returning to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the second consecutive year following success in 2015 with The Gambit.  Joining them are Fringe freshmen Elliott Bornemann, Maya Helena and Felicity Jolly.

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