Monday, 17 July 2017

Psychic Dramaturgy: Marysia Trembecka @ Edfringe 2017

The Singing Psychic Game Show – Marysia Trembecka
Your deepest desires revealed in song
The Singing Psychic is back at the Edinburgh Fringe – she always knew she would be.

What was the inspiration for this performance?

I had the idea for the character about a decade ago when I had to write a comedy sketch for homework for a radio and tv show class I was doing. I came up with this idea of a psychic who could hear the songs in peoples hearts and even buildings sang to her (hence the singing psychic) and was always right.  

I dabbled with the idea for a few years, making a short sketch but then in 2014 I decided to fully develop the character, doing psychic readings for a 121 theatre experience at Lost Theatre, an 8 min then 20 min piece.  

The first full Singing Psychic show premiered in Feb 2015 and since then has toured, done readings at the Brit Awards 2016, and had a sell-out run at Ed Fringe in 2016 as well as being Best Show, Funny Women 2016 nominee. 

This new show, the Game Show version was inspired by my Ed Fringe run of 2016. My venue The Street had a weekly game show themselves which ran after my show and they had asked me to help out as the main compere was feeling ill. 

I became their official glamorous assistant and loved not speaking but watching the audience have fun with picture rounds, quizzes etc was such a joy and about the audience not about watching the main performer.

Wendy and Ryan who ran and developed the game show became great friends and actually suggested I did a SINGING PSYCHIC Game Show. I trialled a few game show ideas in London, even being nominated as a Time Out recommended night out. 

I also run weekly pub quizzes for a company in London. However for this new Edinburgh show I wanted to put more narrative in it, and have an arc rather than just games.

In my main Singing Psychic show, she herself talks about going to medium school and the lessons she learnt on opening herself up psychically (it is a comedy/cabaret piece). 

So I have now put the games I play with the audience all through the lens of them coming to my medium school, suggesting that the games ranging from psychic bingo, psychic jenga and musical statues all are played to open themselves up to their own psychic ability. The most psychic team with the most points wins ;)


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

The main Singing Psychic show is all about listening to yourself and pursuing your own dreams, no matter they may be, choosing to live the way that feels right for you. Live performance, as opposed to watching a film, still can touch the heart of an audience deeper as you are in front of them and thy not only see your emotional journey and responses but also can viscerally feel it, in the atmosphere. 

Plus the discussion with those in the space afterwards and feeling how an entire room can be switched on and off by what is happening on stage can make live theatre more dangerous and interesting. 

My Singing Psychic improvises live reading throughout her shows, so in the interaction of performer and audience member, there is laughter and an immediate response that the whole room feels.

How did you become interested in making performance?

Having been trained as a musician, singer and actor I started hosting cabaret nights where I would sing and have guests from poets to opera singers. My audience would always enjoy the bits of chat in-between the most (my singing has improved a lot since then), so I went on a ten week stand up comedy course to work on the dialogue. 

Somehow that then transitioned to mw writing my first full solo theatre cabaret show MARYSIA’S SLIGHTLY BITTER & TWISTED LESSONS IN LOVE which I took to Ed fringe IN 2006.

Each show since then has become more ambitious and toured more, I have taken various shows of mine to Montreal, Prague and various UK Fringes.

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

The Singing Psychic original show was the first I worked with solo theatre director, Colin Watkeys (Ken Campbell and Claire Dowie) to look at the narrative arc of the work. Using various devising techniques, I listened to the character and the characters around them in their life. 

I do not feel that I write the characters, more that they come through me and tell their stories, I just let them run riot and then choose which parts fit the story. 

What emerges though is the spine of their story.

I always knew that the Singing Psychic walked through a world of music, that every building and heart sang to her, what I needed to know though was who she was, how she got there and the inevitable consequences of such a gift.  However when it came to devising the Game Show version, I trialled different games, deciding what worked best. 


Does the show fit with your usual productions?

This is the first game show and although my work is always interactive, this show is the most audience dependent I have tried. There is a risk of course that a ‘quiet audience’ may not play the way I ‘want’ but that is the joy of live performance and why I spent time ensuring I had a narrative and an arc so it works under most circumstances. The show will change inevitably every night and I will be changing the games around depending on how it goes!


What do you hope the audience will experience?

Laughter, random dancing, live readings and a feeling of being the show rather than just watching one. Also I noticed in my previews that some people seem to know the answers to my psychic queries, be it name that psychic tune and the star signs attached to the psychic bingo numbers. 

The show is ostensibly to increase the audiences psychic abilities in a comedy setting, but it seems some teams really are more psychic!

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audiences experiences?

Looking at my music choices, getting people on their feet dancing, being able to play in teams, the competitive spirit, fun prizes. I have a selection of games which I fine-tuned to be ‘psychic’ chosen for maximum audience involvement, laughter and general fun. The live audience readings the Singing Psychic does are still in the show, as people love a reading.

I have also reclaimed the word fortune back, as four-tunes, so I do a four card reading where the audience member tells me a problem and then picks four cards – all have different songs on the back. 

This is a game I invented and whether the obstacle is career issues or the school having lost their hamster it always seems to work. I have also done it on live radio, most notably to Adrian Stout of The Tiger Lilies where The Singing Psychic gave him advice on his touring issues.

This time the amazing Polish visionary unveils her brand spanking new game show packed with songs, 70s-style team games (including Fourtunes) and prizes.

Part of the PBH Free Fringe, Marysia Trembecka’s Singing Psychic Game Show is brilliantly bananas. It’s an hour of fun that builds on last year’s four and five star Edinburgh Fringe reviews, a Funny Women Best Show nomination, a European tour and a special appearance at the official BRIT Awards after-party.

But the biggest attraction, as ever, will be her spookily accurate (if utterly bonkers) audience readings. She’ll reveal and perform the songs in your heart, give relationship and life advice, and answer your deepest questions – is that man really right for you?

The Singing Psychic, who is flying in from her Białowieża Forest yurt, says: “I return here to sort out your problems and also for us to have fun. I can see inside your heart and will sing the songs locked up there – I will reveal your innermost longings and desires. My powers are true and incredible, come and see.”
But remember, the Singing Psychic has two strict rules – one is that the secrets she reveals in the room, stay in the room and the other is that she is ALWAYS right.

Her musical second sight is extraordinary, she even reads the songs of your birth. She explains: “I walk in a world of music – even the buildings sing to me. The power is so strong that I no longer can go to weddings because I will see your fiancé’s true desires.”

After the show there will be free private readings and everyone gets a card with the title of song that will guide them through the month. She also plans to release YouTube performances of the songs locked in the stones of Edinburgh’s greatest buildings.

You can already see the Singing Psychic Songs of the Zodiac on YouTube and learn about her advice sessions, including helping Donald Trump with his relationship issues.

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