Thursday, 1 June 2017

Oskar's Amazing Dramaturgy: Colin Granger @ Edfringe 2017

Oskar’s Amazing Adventure
Gilded Balloon (Dining Room), 13 Bristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9AJ Wednesday 2nd – Sunday 27th August 2017 (not 9th, 16th, 23rd), 11:50

Fun-loving Oskar has to run down a mountain to find a friendly animal to play with. But where are the animals? And why does he have to wait till spring to play his favourite game again?
The UK premiere of this heart-warming, humorous play uses a rich mix of storytelling, physical theatre, puppetry and song to tell the tale of a puppy’s search for friendship.

What was the inspiration for this performance?

Spending a lot of time walking in mountain forests in winter. The silence, just the occasional sound of snow tumbling down from overladen branches. Seeing tracks  but no animals. Where are they all hiding?

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

Yes, in the case of the plays I've written which are for 2 to 7 year olds there's even discussion during the performances  itself, which – through it does need to be controlled  – is wonderful. They have such good ideas and interesting solutions.

How did you become interested in making performance?

As a teenager I was a compulsive reader of plays. At the time, all bookshops had a paperback play section and plays were as easy to buy as fiction. At the time I didn't get the chance to see any theatre so all those plays I read were staged in my mind. I longed to direct a play and finally got my chance as a student when put on Sean O'Casey's Bedtime Story.  

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

Yes, with theatre for young children something new must happen every two or three minutes as you need to capture the audience's attention from the start and keep it throughout the show, If you lose them, they are lost for the rest of the show. 

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

Creating children's theatre is a new game for me -  Oskar's Amazing Adventure is only the second play I've written and directed for young audiences. All my other theatre work has been for adult audiences – and plays tending to be dark, surreal and absurd.  

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

What I really like about doing children's theatre
for 2 - 7 year olds is that is so may people in the   haven't been to the theatre before. For the children It's often their first play because they are so young. And for lots of the parents too -  they are  there - not because they like theatre but because they have children and want to give them a treat. It's an amazing experience and responsibility as you are giving them their first theatre experience!   For the adults the pleasure is watching their children enjoy and be able to concentrate of something for 30/40 minutes and if they are getting involved in the play as well.  For the children the pleasure is of understanding something and being able to following a good story; take part in the action, laugh, feel concerned for the fate of the characters …

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

Not use puppets. For the age group I am writing I believe you need actors to be the focus of attention not puppets. – the children are just not engaged enough if the story is told through puppets  no matter how skilfully the puppeteers are.   

Don't tell everything, leave things for the children to fill in with their imaginations.  Make sure they don't get scared - children often start crying when the lights first go out - it's easy to avoid this happening. Give the children a chance to meet the performers and the animal characters  after the show.  Give them opportunities to join in.

Oskar, the fun-loving Swiss puppy, lives with Grandma and her animals in the little house on top of the mountain. They have been snowbound for weeks and Oskar, desperate for a game, goes out alone in the snow to find a friendly animal to play with.

But the animals he meets are more interested in eating Oskar than playing with him and he only manages to avoid the attention of a hungry fox when he falls down a deep hole in the ground and lands on top of a young hibernating marmot.

Marmot forgives Oskar for waking her up and, using her amazing digging and whistling skills, helps the little dog escape the fox and reunites him with his family. Oskar wants to play more, but has to wait for Marmot to finish her long winter’s sleep.

Many plays for young audiences are adaptations of well-known children’s books, but Oskar’s Amazing Adventure is different; the original picture book and play have been created side by side in one creative process. The text, illustrations and storyline of the book evolved as the play developed in rehearsal creating a story full of action and excitement.

This original, heartwarming and entertaining play for young children and their families is presented by Anglo-Swiss theatre company Theatre Fideri Fidera in association with Komedia Kids. Author, Colin Granger will be signing books after each performance – this is also an opportunity for children to meet Oskar the playful puppy and his newfound friend, Marmot.

No comments :

Post a Comment