Friday, 23 June 2017

Bleach Dramaturgy: Dan Ireland-Reeves @ Edfringe 2017

Bleach is a brand new one man show, written and performed by Dan Ireland-Reeves.

When a misguided rent boy finds
himself taking the starring role in a snuff film, he’s forced to question whether living in London is really worth the cost of rent. Bleach is a visceral and moving story reflecting a generations struggle to stay afloat in a city of unreachable deposits and zero hour contracts. 

When Tyler Everett’s job at an all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant falls through and the love of his life walks out on him, he does whatever he can to make ends meet. Follow his journey from small town boy to big time fuck-up in this high octane production.

Bleach is appearing at Laughing Horse @ 48 Below (Venue 146) as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival before going on to perform at the Amsterdam Fringe Festival 2017.

What was the inspiration for this performance?

Bleach was born out of my experiences watching friends move to London in hopes of achieving big things and being totally chewed up and spat out by it. Because of the social media age we live in this was something you would only be aware of if you followed them very closely, as all their media feeds would still desperately portray the idea of success they were searching for. So it came from that really. Of course, with my fascination with dark and sexual subjects, it went off in a few more unusual routes along the way. 

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

I think its one of the best. Performance has always allowed you to experiment with different ideas by using fictional characters. Obviously, not all characters in performance are fictional, but when they are it means an audience is more open to listening to their opinions and taking them at face value. It's rare that there is a space where people just have to sit down, shut up and listen to what's being said from start to finish. Sure, you can get up and walk out but on the whole it's a space where you have an audiences full attention to convey to them whatever it is you want. 

They can discuss it afterward and will often have to relay their experiences to others because you can't just lend it out like a DVD. Live performance is incredibly powerful and immediate and that's why it's so good for the discussion of ideas. It's also uncensored... that counts for a lot!

How did you become interested in making performance?

It really happened out of necessity. I've always wanted to perform but creating my own work was never really on my radar. It really came about because it was becoming harder and harder to find plays that spoke to me. It was also becoming more expensive. When I did find a play I liked it would have too many actors or be too large scale to make it practical. Also, paying for performance rights was no fun at all. So I started writing my own stuff. This was a needs must kind of situation, but after a while i realised i was getting better and better at it. Now I consider myself as much a writer as a performer.

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

The writing always comes first. I'm terrible at devising so i have to have it down on the page before i can do anything else. This often involves months of waiting for an idea to come to me; and when i say waiting, I actually mean thinking a million tiny ideas a minute for months on end. That bit is tiring. I try to listen to lots of music, watch lots of documentaries and write down even the tiniest spark of inspiration. Once the idea comes it's usually pretty straight forward.

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

It's in the darker realm of work, which is definitely in line with past works. I think this show has a bit more bite and more to say than some of my past work. It's also a lot more daring, I think. What it demands from me as a performer is more than I've ever had to do before. 

I've had to become more comfortable with my body, increase my confidence and obviously learn how to command a stage all on my own; something I've never done before! But it still has all the energy and wit I think people will have come to expect from my writing. It's really a lot of dark, fucked-up fun.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

I hope they see themselves in Tyler. Although he's a rent boy, I think he's also a really relatable character and one that says a lot about the opportunities offered to my generation. I hope people feel like they've really been on a ride with him and are routing for him to come through it on the other side. I hope they laugh, think and even get a bit turned on... maybe in ways they didn't expect!

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

The play is almost written in three sections. Funny, dark and reflective. Through these phases I've tried to give the audience lots of up's and down's throughout the show and give different facets of the story at different times depending on the mood and idea i want to convey. I've also wanted it to be a really in your face show. 

It's designed to be small and close which it definitely will be in Edinburgh because our venue is tiny! There's lots of pumping music throughout and I'm pretty active on stage to increase the feelings of being lifted up and dropped. I hope that comes across and I'm not just running myself into the ground for no good reason. I just did the show in Dublin where it got four stars across the board and was nominated for best male performance, so hopefully I'm doing something right.

British Exist Theatre is a young, dynamic and exciting company made up of trained industry professionals. After graduating drama school the company decided to put their skills into practice and produce work that they have full creative control of. This bought many different skills to the table and allowed British Exist Theatre to develop truly unique and original work.

No comments :

Post a Comment