Sunday, 23 July 2017

Laid Dramaturgy: Natalie Palamides @ Edfringe 2017



A melodramatic / comedic journey of motherhood / breakfast Edinburgh: 

Wed 2 – Sun 27 August (not 14), 16:15 (60mins) London run: Mon 6 – Sat 18 Nov, 20:30, Soho Theatre Upstairs

A woman lays an egg every day and faces the decision: to raise it or eat it. 

A hilarious, surreal, melodrama of yolks, shells and funerals, LAID, written and performed by Los Angeles based comedian Natalie Palamides, explores motherhood with absurd dilemmas, silly routines and surreal physical comedy. 

Co-devised and directed by Edinburgh Festival Fringe favourite and Comedy Award Winner Dr Brown, Natalie Palamides brings her playful and cunning character to the Fringe for the very first time as part of Soho Theatre’s 19- show Edinburgh Festival Fringe season of the most vibrant new theatre, comedy and cabaret. 

What was the inspiration for this performance?

I envisioned the image of a woman hatching out of an egg, and from there, expanded the image into a world where a woman lays an egg every day. The egg is her only source of food or love, which will she choose?  

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

Oh yeah! Performance is a great space to explore your own ideas of public issues. Then, depending on how the audience reacts to your performance, you can feel the overall consensus on the issue that is being presented through the energy in the room. 

In comedy, when the audience laughs, it's an understood agreement that mostly everyone in the room is onboard with the idea that you're presenting--pretty cool way to bring people together!

How did you become interested in making performance?

I've been a performer since I was a kid; performance is something that has come naturally to me, and I've always been drawn to it. When I was 5 years old, I put on my first solo show--a one time performance of "The Little Red Hen" for my kindergarten class. I'm realizing as I write, the only two solo shows I've done in my life have somehow involved chickens... classic. I never thought I had a fascination with chickens until this very moment.

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

I've always performed the show in front a live audience. There has never been a rehearsal without an audience, which is important for me, because I play so much with the audience. I have a
background in devised theatre, and through that have developed a quick way of creating material by outlining it and improvising my way from beat to beat--like a skeleton.  

From the moment I conceived the show, to the first time I put it up, only a week had passed, which seems fast, but I like to work in a way that allows to me to think on my feet during performance, instead of pre-performance, i.e. spending time writing a script, planning blocking, etc. I like to "write" the script by performing it over and over, and seeing what works. I didn't actually write a script for the show until I had already performed it 10 times. 

My training in improv, character, and clowning has inspired and contributed to the style of the show; I like to keep the show loose and open for new things to happen--from the beginning until now. Each performance I discover something new, and I might just keep it for the next show! 

Lastly, I wouldn't have been able to get the show to the playful place it is today without the help of my director, Philip Burgers (Dr. Brown). He encourages me to play and pushes me to heighten and expand my bits in a way that no director has done for me before. I feel so lucky to have him, and the show would probably be garbage without his insight and encouragement.

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

I tend to perform very absurd, dark, goofy, silly, out-of-left-field character pieces, which 100% coincides with this show.  I always try to keep the audience guessing, and like to surprise them in delightfully strange ways. 

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

I hope that the audience will experience belly aches (from laughs) and heartaches (from sadness), ideally at the same time. It's fun for me to confuse emotions and bring the audience to a place where they're feeling joy as well as grief as well as whatever other feelings the show may evoke (but mostly joy). I love when people question why they laughed at something that's truly very dark.

Named one of the New Faces of Comedy for her characters at last year’s Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, Natalie performs regularly at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade theatre as a member of their house teams and a director. A SAG-AFTRA actress, voiceover artist and writer, Natalie is the voice of the Cartoon Network’s PowerPuff girl, Buttercup. Her other credits include: Bob’s Burgers (FOX), BriTANick (Comedy Central), Uncle Grandpa (Cartoon Network), Uncle Buck (ABC), Disney XD, Comedy Bang Bang, Tween Fest, Funny or Die, The UCB Show, Future Worm and Freaks of Nature.

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