Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Your Dramaturgy: Phil Nichol @ Edfringe 2017

Phil Nichol’s new stand up show
Your Wrong’ will be at the Monkey Barrel – Headroom for the month of August and his cabaret show ‘The Asylum’ will also be in that venue Thurs-Sat – for tickets go to www.edfringe.com

What was the inspiration for this performance?

I am becoming fed up with the way we, as human beings, are interacting with each other. Whether it’s correcting punctuation on someone’s odd posts about a ‘flat earth’ or listening to the stream of weirdness that is being tweeted from the White House or our inability to pin down what is ‘truth’ any more, it feels like we are having a massive group psychosis. Our inability to listen and forgive will be the downfall of mankind.

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

Absolutely. I have also believed in the profound importance of the arts and most recently have started to be fervent that art is the only thing that actually makes sense because it approaches life with questions/curiosity and doesn't try to pummel understanding into the audience. It gently asks question and persuades through abstraction and dialogue.

How did you become interested in making

I saw The Tempest at age 12. As Nicholas Pennell (playing Ariel) descended from the gods with tremendous white wings and a booming actor voice. He silenced a theatre full of blethering pre-teens. I thought, “I wanna do that!” I’ve been a wanna-be diva ever since.

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

As this show is a return to comic story-telling, I employed the talents of director John Gordillo who has work with such luminaries such as Eddie Izzard and Reg D Hunter. John’s ‘no bullshit’ introspection combined with his meticulous questioning of each thought and idea means that we will hopefully end up with an extremely funny show full of nuance and depth, cushioned by huge laughs and hysteria. Hopefully…haha!

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

Yes. I think so. I having been experimenting with performance styles since my first solo show 21 years ago. Other than last year’s 20th anniversary ‘best of’ collection, the last few years have been about opening up my life and using my experience as a peg to hang jokes on.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

I want this year to be a turning point for me. I genuinely care about the audience. I’d would like them to leave my show feeling uplifted, inspired, and with their faces aching from laughing so hard!

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

I cajole and confuse in equal measure. Just come and find out. Oh, and a story about my brother coming out of a coma….

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