Monday, 10 July 2017

Sasquatch the Dramaturgy: Roddy Bottum @ Edfringe 2017

Roddy Bottum and Civil Disobedience present
credit: Jonathan Grassi
Sasquatch: The Opera
Main Hall – Summerhall
9.15pm (60 mins)
4 – 27 August (14 off) August 2017

Faith No More’s Roddy Bottum brings Sasquatch: The Opera to Edinburgh. Roddy – best known as a member of Faith No More – is also an accomplished film and TV composer and Sasquatch sees him take his skill for scoring to the stage.  

Edinburgh will be the first full-length performance of the opera with a cast yet to be announced, backed by a live band.
A dark and tragic love tale based on the fable of Sasquatch, the elusive man beast who stalks the forest.
The story revolves around a backwoods hillbilly family who make a living selling the story of
Sasquatch to willing tourists and what happens when they come across the real monster.
What was the inspiration for this performance?
I saw a weird piece on daytime television once about a really big child. He was a couple hundred 
pounds and barely 4 years old. He was referred to as a Gentle Giant.

He was intimidating and ‘grotesque’ and absolutely adorably sensitive and sweet. 

It made me cry. It was overwhelmingly satisfying to see the reactions of people turn from horrified into touched. It was a reminder to me to look deeper, to dig beneath the surface for true meaning.

Sasquatch is like this child.  His emotional arc is the core of what I was trying to achieve.

Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas? 
In what I try to do, performance is the ultimate space for public discussion of ideas.  I aim to provoke and
to question people’s motives. I hope ideally to create conversations about the course of humanity and the tools we need to develop to make things work.  Being able to think and discuss in the forum of theatre makes the process easier for some. For me.

How did you become interested in making performance?
I like to be looked at and I love attention. I feel confident enough with my perspective to shout it from
the rooftop, so to speak. From an early age I felt a need to be heard. Throw theatrics into that mix and
it makes a message all the more palatable. 

Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?
I tried to keep the piece as stripped down and as bare as I could make it. I wanted ultimately to leave
as much room for the performances as possible. The instrumentation is very sparse; timpani’s, drum machine,
synthesizers, and trumpets. It’s as simple and as dark as I could make it. I kept that in mind with the costumes
and the set design as well. I also tended to err on the side of somber.  ‘Sasquatch, The Opera’ usually brings
about a chuckle and I wanted to set the tone from the get-go that it’s a dark and serious piece.

The show, whilst holding true to the dark fairytale premise, will be drug-fueled, surreal and provocative.
Summerhall is the world premiere of the experimental opera written and composed by Faith No More’s Roddy Bottum. With Sasquatch – the misunderstood monster – Roddy holds a mirror up to his own experience as the first openly gay man in the extremely macho world of rock and roll. Roddy has recently relocated to NYE to pursue and creative musical theatre and commented on Sasquatch:
“The impetus for my opera is a theme I’m particularly fond of – that of the misunderstood monster. I
reference the Elephant Man, Frankenstein, King Kong and a 100lb four-year-old I once saw on Jerry Springer as characters of inspiration.”
Sasquatch, The Opera promises to flip the lid on a world where all is hopeless and everything’s an illusion. When the situation is dark and uncontrollable, do you busy yourself deeper – or look for a way out?

Recent projects
-       Roddy Bottum is internationally renowned as a member of Faith No More.
-       Roddy has written music extensively for film & TV
-       The Ride - a new short opera staged with actors on stationery bikes about the legendary AIDS LifeCycle charity ride.
-       Headlined Drone Fest at Basilica Hudson with an hour-long piece titled The Grief Manual with synthesizers and choir.
-       Acting debut in Sebastian Silva's 2017 film Tyrel opposite Jason Mitchell and Michael Cera.
The shows cast will be announced shortly – the opera will be performed with a live orchestra.

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