Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Dramaturgy is a Tree: Jamie Wood @ Edfringe 2017

Award winning, anarchic, art-clown, Jamie Wood invites you to take a walk on the wild side
Assembly George Square Theatre, Omnitorium
14th – 20th, 22nd – 27th August, 18:25

Following the success of Beating McEnroe and O No!; award winning, anarchic art clown Jamie Wood presents his new show I am a Tree. This show was inspired by a 150 mile walk in full pilgrim costume, and marks the third show in a triptych of one-man shows drawn from Jamie’s 17 year performance career. I am a Tree is about finding the courage and strength to stay when times are tough. 

It's about listening to the world and finding the boldness to be whole. Jamieemploys his signature blend of clowning and comedy to be daring, anarchic and playful.

What was the inspiration for this performance? 
I've wanted to make a show called I am a Tree for 5 years. Then I wanted to walk a pilgrimage, then the show was about finding out what those two ingredients were getting at inside me.

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

I think any public discussion is healthy because it involves people listening to each other and being challenged. Performance for me is a space that encourages people to look inside themselves, it's about introspection and reflection which might lead at some point to discussion but isn't my main aim. 

How did you become interested in making performance? 
Youth theatre, then university, then seeing exciting stuff, then working with exciting people and then trying....

Is there any particular approach to the making of the show? 
It started by walking. Then it was about space and time to go inside, to excavate the unconscious and not try and make a show, then with that material I tried to make a show.

Does the show fit with your usual productions? 
It's the third one of a trilogy following Beating
McEnroe and O No! so it shares languages and games, but it has a different darker tone

What do you hope that the audience will experience? 
I hope people will laugh, I hope people will be excited, I hope it will create a space for people to reflect on themselves in their current landscape, I hope it'll create a space for people to experience what they need to experience that their lives don't offer them.

What strategies did you consider towards
shaping this audience experience? 
Marketing, previous experience of my work, images and then the journey/structure of the show.

When Jamie is still for any length of time, someone finds him and tells him about their life. His girlfriend says this makes him like a tree that all dogs want to piss up. 

A slow man tree. His Granddad taught him what he knows about listening. And now there’s a gap in his landscape. Last year he walked 150 miles from Coventry back to where his grandparents were born in Treherbert, to scatter his grandfather’s ashes and to look for what he’d lost. 

A homemade pilgrimage, returning
to roots, slow motion time travel. This show is something else entirely. A dance party with ghosts, in a forest, in a theatre. A hopping ritual. An invitation to drink deep: to face the shadows that growl on your insides and laugh big. Hold on tight! 

In the 1920s his grandfather was walking 7 miles every day, to work in 3ft2 dark and damp, digging for coal for little money, while surrealists contemplated the subconscious in the cafes of Paris.

Moving from South Wales to Coventry, Jamie’s grandfather talked of a move from surviving to living, and this walk was an attempt to go from living to surviving, to track his grandfather who died at 101, and to find where he found his courage and strength.

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