Thursday, 20 July 2017

Mingalabar Dramaturgy: Struan Logan @ Edfringe 2017

Struan Logan: Mingalabar 

Laughing Horse @ Cabaret Voltaire: 3rd - 27th August: 12pm
Local comedian Struan Logan marks his return to the UK comedy scene with a new 30 minute show, Mingalabar.

Struan has just spent three months living in South East Asia, performing stand-up in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong as well as travelling through Vietnam, Taiwan and his favourite, Myanmar (formerly Burma) and has a grand ol' tale to tell.

What was the inspiration for this performance?

I have spent the last 18 months travelling with my partner through Australia, New Zealand and S.E. Asia, this show is about the last three months in South East Asia as we travelled through 7 countries and I performed stand-up in 4 of them. 

The two things that have inspired this show from that are seeing stand-ups from around the world talking about their experiences in their own country's. The second was a set of weekend gigs I did in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where I performed to the most diverse crowd I have played to and the amount of fun that gig was.  

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

Of course it is. For stand-up the bigger question is which performances are a good place for public discussion of ideas, if you are doing an Edinburgh Fringe show where you are given the time and breathing space to flesh out those ideas to an audience then absolutely. 

If on the other hand you are performing in an open mic night where they don't trust the acts or a weekend at a comedy club where the punters are drunk and just want gags, ideas are a lot more difficult to get across. It's still possible but very difficult to do as you need some damn strong jokes backing it up. 

How did you become interested in making performance?

I don't know when it began specifically but I've always been interested in it. I particularly remember watching Have I Got News For You as a kid and watching Paul Merton and Ian Hislop riffing about politics being a big one. 

I did acting as a kid up was always given minor roles like "Roman Builder 3" and I must have been bad at acting because the guy casting the play was my uncle. 

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

Writing then failing, a lot. I personally learn better by mistakes and thinking, "Don't do that again!" Previews and open mic nights are particularly good for this because people who come to previews are interested in the comedy process and if an idea works in an open mic night you are going to be fine at the fringe. 

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

With it being stand-up the performance isn't hugely different apart from the delivery is now being done with more confidence. I performed gigs in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand and I was paid for it so I can have some sense that I'm doing something right. 

However this is more ambitious than I am used to as a lot of comedy is from relatable experiences so that doesn't exist when you are talking about being in a country others haven't been to. 

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

If this persuades a few people who were thinking of going travelling to actually doing it I will be incredibly happy. 

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

Staying in the moment in the audience as much as possible whilst not relying on them as a crutch. Stand-up is both trying not be seem like you are reading a script in your head whilst trying to make it as close to the script as possible. 

If you are also confident with audience interaction it can be easy to riff with them rather than doing material so I have to avoid that in this show and focus on building on the ideas instead. 

His various attempts of understanding the multiple cultures whilst failing not to make an ass of himself, explaining that Scottish privilege is way better than white privilege and how he understood religion better by visiting Buddhist Hell all make for a great first show of the day filled with jokes, anecdotes and the occasional gag about shitting himself. 

Starting comedy in 2012, Struan was picked to participate in The Stand’s Comedy Academy, having lessons from some of the UK’s finest comedians including cult comedians Simon Munnery and Mary Bourke.

In the last 18 months, Struan packed his bags from the UK and took up an Australian visa, where he road-tripped and performed at comedy clubs throughout the the country and performed solo shows at the Adelaide Fringe Festival and Melbourne International Comedy Festival, including being a regular on package shows Argh! A Bonanza of Comedy from the UK and All Around the World: International Comedy Showcase.

In the last week of his visa, Struan performed Bye Melbourne, It’s Been Fun! at Melbourne Fringe to sold-out crowds and critical praise before travelling over to New Zealand to headline clubs across the two islands.

Along with being a comedian, Struan is also a columnist for Melbourne's craft beer magazine Froth, writing articles for the monthly magazine on his outsider point of view and knowledge of craft beer.

Back home, Struan has also been commissioned to write content for Time Out, The Skinny, WOW247, Ferment and more.

Facebook: @StruanLogan
Twitter: @StruanLogan
Instagram: @StruanLogan
Medium: @StruanLogan

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