Monday, 3 July 2017

Stupid Stinky Dramaturgy: Stuart Reid @ Edfringe 2017

Boogers, Books and Big Bottom Burps!

Described by teachers and librarians as the most exciting, enthusiastic and entertaining author events ever, Stuart Reid is back at the Edinburgh Fringe for the fourth year with the latest version of his wacky show and the launch of his sixth book ‘Gorgeous George and his Stupid Stinky Stories’.

Where - Maggie’s Chamber, The Three Sisters (venue 272)
When - 30th July to 27th August at 3.15pm EVERY DAY
Why - Because it’s FREE… and it’s fantastic!

Fantastic. Well done.” Nicola Sturgeon

In the last five years, Stuart has already performed at nearly 1,500 schools, libraries and book festivals throughout Britain, Ireland, Dubai and Abu Dhabi as a full-time author and he was recently acknowledged by Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon for his work in schools as part of the First Minister’s Reading Challenge.  

What was the inspiration for this performance?

I have performed at over 1,300 schools, libraries 
and book festivals around the UK and internationally and have discovered that too many children are not engaged with books. Perhaps they don't have a reading role model at home, or maybe it's too easy to hand a child an i-Pad or tablet but it is my responsibility to inspire, engage and enthuse children with a love for reading. 

The excitement and energy I aim to create at my performances will (hopefully) have children clamouring to read my books afterwards.

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

Absolutely! Great performance can be the basis for cultural change; it can unleash creativity and stimulate discussion on subjects that may have been previously forgotten or ignored. Some parents are often surprised to learn that their children are desperate to read - they just need that catalyst to change.

How did you become interested in making performance?

Living in Dubai in a 5-bedroom villa with a maid, gardener, swimming pool and two big  4x4's I realised I wasn't happy. Materialism doesn't make me happy. I wanted to write and after my first book was published I wanted to perform. 

I wanted to share my book and my excitement for reading and writing with a larger audience. I want to help children realise that books are brilliant! So I gave up my job and became a full-time author.

Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?
My rules for performance are simple - it must be funny, it must be energetic and it must grasp the whole audience. I aim to take my audience on a rollercoaster ride of books, bums, and big bottom burps. It will be yucky, there may be snot but kids will find it hilarious (mums and dads too). 

I use music, colour, imagery from my books, with additional videos, props and audience interaction - there must never be a dull moment!

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

My books are about poo, pumps and parping, and my events at schools, libraries and book festivals
are about bums, books and big bottom burps. That's pretty much me... I'm just a big kid at heart and I still laugh at the same yucky things I laughed at when I was 9 years old.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

Fun, laughter, energy, enthusiasm for books and inspiration to read, perhaps a little bit of disgust (if you're older, it may be yuckier). They may even experience some unusual smells this year ;)

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

The sight, sound and smells of my stupid stinky stories!

After quitting his lucrative job
in Dubai seven years ago to pursue his dream of becoming a children’s author, Stuart Reid is arguably now one of the hardest working and most inspirational children’s authors around today. He has presented to over 250,000 children, including 120 princes at the Royal Rashid School in Nad-al-Sheba, Dubai, UAE.

His Gorgeous George series has been met with widespread enthusiasm and international acclaim selling over 50,000 copies and having his first four titles even translated into Turkish. His books are deliberately yucky, wacky and cheeky, designed to excite, engage and inspire the imaginations of young readers.  There may be snot. You have been warned!

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