Thursday, 8 June 2017

The Dramaturgy Room For Kids: John Robertson


86 Candlemaker Row, EH1 2QA (The Old Foundry Room)

August 4 – 27 (Not 14)

What was the inspiration for this performance?
Well, quite often at Dark Room shows for adults, we get adorable children who don't seem to mind being yelled at by a man dressed in spikes and armour, so I thought, let's dispose of the adults entirely. 
Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas? 
Oh, absolutely. Far better than social media, which is mostly anonymous groundlings claiming anything outside their worldview is either wrong, or somehow fake. I've never cared less about the human race than when I'm on the internet, but at the theatre, much better. 
How did you become interested in making performance?
Tolerant parents, and a completely full dress-up box. 
Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?
Honing the interactive content down to that fine edge of horror that delights and amuses young people, and pleases the kind of parent who'll show their kids "Jaws", then take them out swimming. 
Does the show fit with your usual productions?
It is my usual production! (Minus some of my favourite four-letter words.) That's not censorship - children are just more articulate than adults - and a grown man screaming  that he's going to rip your lungs out straight into a 10 year-old's face probably carries enough weight. 
What do you hope that the audience will experience?
The kind of joy and terror that turns every fumble for a light switch into a tremendous adventure. Also enough goodwill towards me that they'll buy a shirt afterwards. 

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?
None! It's the show I do for adults, with some extra-strange diversions. I'm always amazed by the wealth of information inside a 10 year-old's head, so any kid should be able to handle my little game of life and death. It's the adults who have trouble, because life starts hurting after the second divorce. 

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