Thursday, 6 July 2017

Confabulating Dramaturgy: Eamonn Fleming @ Edfringe 2017

Edinburgh Fringe 2017Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ, Aug 2-8, 10-15, 17-22, 24-28 at 1.40pm (1hr) Tickets £7 - £12/concessions £8-£11 Recommended 12+ (restriction).  Warning - Contains Strong Language

Confabulation! at EdFringe– new comedy theatre show exploring memory by writer and performer Eamonn Fleming

 “Delicious tales... hysterical demonstrations and wry comments... enlivened with plenty of musical interludes.” Venue Magazine on previous show The Meaning of Riff.

Experienced actor-turned writer, storyteller and performer Eamonn Fleming is hitting the Fringe for the first time as a solo artist with his third show – Confabulation!. Inspired by the startling revelation that something he remembers from his teenage years turns out to be completely false, Confabulation!  is an hilarious, entertaining and very human show exploring the mysteries of the science of memory and how what we remember defines us. Can we really trust everything we remember?

Join Eamonn, O level biologist (grade C) as he stumbles through the amazing world of memory palaces, false memories and Werther's Originals, calling on his own personal stories to unlock a world of remembering and making stuff up.

Says Eamonn: “Every act of remembering is an act of storytelling. Confabulation!  starts with my memory of being a spotty teenager at a Motorhead gig.  The bellowing fans, the smell of beer and sweat, the thunderous music – when I think back, it's all so vivid and real. But I discovered only recently that I can’t possibly have been there. It’s all completely made up! That fascinated me and sowed the seeds for my third show as a solo performer.”

Eamonn starts off the show by recreating the sticky atmosphere of the heavy metal gig using his electric guitar, and adds in old school projection slides, free sweets and even a bit of joining in (though nothing too scary).

Confabulation! ends at the cutting edge of memory research. After doing some research of his own into the workings of the memory, Eamonnwas lucky enough to get the chance to meet none other than the award-winning forensic psychologist, memory scientist and author of The Memory Illusion Dr Julia Shaw, whose work helped Eamonn explore the science of memory.

In 2018 Eamonn will take his latest work on a national tour.  For those unable to make the Fringe this year, Confabulation!  can be seen atThe Pleasance, London on 17th July, The Spring, Havant on 21st July and at Bedfringe, The Quarry Theatre, Bedford, on 22nd July before transferring to EdFringe.

What was the inspiration for this performance?

I first had the idea for a show about how memory works a few years ago when I discovered I had a False Memory of going to a Motorhead gig as kid.  
It amazed me that the memory seems so believable. That's what got me interested in the whole area of Memory science, False Memories, memory palaces etc

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

Of course! And not just the work that happens at The Tricycle.

Every time an actor stands on a stage, a story gets told. Ideas get put forward. 

For thousands of years we've simply stood up in front of each other and told our stories, asked questions, laughed at each other and ourselves. That's what theatre is for.

How did you become interested in making performance?

I started out as a mainstream actor by training at East 15, and they instilled the idea of devising your own work, not just passively working with the scripts that you get given. A few years after graduating a few of us got a company together to devise comic theatre. 

We toured to Eastern Europe and around the UK with our company-Big State-but I drifted back to the mainstream work. Then about 10 years ago I saw the late great Ken Campbell doing a solo show and his storytelling, his  outrageous humour, his ease with the audience, the intimacy of his style, it all just inspired me to start making my own work again. Daniel Kitson is another inspiration to me, though his style is much more poetic and structured.

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

The way I work is usually the same every time I make a solo piece. I do a load of 
reading/thinking etc for months, then write some rough script ideas down. I get 
together with my director and I basically improvise around the ideas. Go off on 
tangents and so on. 

We record/take notes on the impros, then I script from there. This time around I was working with a director-Nick Lane-who is also a great writer/dramaturge in his own right, so that really helped with structuring the piece.

Does the show fit with your usual productions?
Yes. Its funny. Its personal. Pretty much. I take material from my own life experiences and shape it to fit the show or vice versa. 

I'm not sure which way round that actually is most of the time to be honest! 

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

Something funny and engaging that surprises them, that makes them question their own assumptions about themselves and their memories, that makes them want to know more, to go out and read the books, watch the TED talks, find out for themselves. I'm not an expert, just an enthusiast.

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

I dont really think that way when Im making a piece of work. I dont want to find myself second guessing an audience's response. . You just have to make a piece of work you would want to see yourself, then hope somebody out there agrees with you.

No comments :

Post a Comment