Wednesday, 5 July 2017

StoryDramaturgy: Brice Stratford @ Edfringe 2017

What was the inspiration for this performance?
I first went to see a professional Storyteller when I was 11 years old, sitting at a campfire in the New Forest. I remember every story he told, down to the syllable, and that he wore his hair long and had a ring in his ear.

Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas? 
Live performance is still, I believe, the best way of provoking questions in an audience. I think the limits become apparent when it starts trying to provide the answers.

How did you become interested in making performance?
I've been on stage since the age of 6, and grew up with actors in the family; I'm not sure there's ever been a time in my life when making performance wasn't a natural form of expression.

Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?
The key for this show is to tell the stories as a direct response to the audience; to look individuals in the eye and use whatever words are best suited to expressing whatever version of whatever story is most appropriate in that specific context for that specific crows. Every night a brand new production should be created in collaboration with the performer and the audience; always unique, never artificially recreated.

Does the show fit with your usual productions?
More or less. All my work tends to involve themes of folklore, storytelling, and of connecting audiences of the present with the human culture of the past. Though usually I work in larger scale historical plays, the motivation behind this show is the same as all that preceded it; raising the dead by making the thoughts and stories of a bygone age alive in the minds of the people that come to watch.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?
Folk Storytelling; as a performative art in its own right. I hope that their concepts of what stories are and can be might expand, and I want them to form their own version of whatever story they're hearing in collaboration with the storyteller telling it. I want to demonstrate that all you really need in order to transport an audience is a good story and a good telling of it; no bells, no whistles, no more, no less.

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?, no company, and absolutely no tech.
Honesty, and a genuine passion for the subject matter. I firmly believe that if you look someone in the eye and tell them truthfully about something you love then they can't help but be moved.

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