Monday, 7 August 2017

Phi and Naked Dramaturgy: Diana Nguyen @ Edfringe 2017

Phi and Me - theatre comedy show about a Vietnamese mother's love for her son Phi Nguyen 


Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Festival 2017
Diana Nguyen
Laughing Horse @ Vic St Coffee Co
5 India Buildings, Edinburgh, EH1 2EX

Diana is a Melbourne-based actor and comedian, her co production of “Phi and Me” has featured at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with a 4.5 star review in the Herald Sun. 

Diana appeared as a panelist guest in the ABC “Q&A.” Her stand up show “NAKED” recently performed at a sell-out Fringe World Perth, Adelaide Fringe, and Melbourne before heading to Edinburgh this August.

What was the inspiration for this performance?

My inspiration for Phi and Me is identity and storytelling. The Vietnamese community doesn't talk about the war and gave kept it silent and I felt it was important to share our story to the wider community.

I saw Fecility Wards show in 2010 at the Men International Comedy festival and I thought I have a story to share that connects a generation of people which has never been seen.

NAKED was inspired by an event that happened to me. It left me vulnerable and naked and I didn't know how to share this story. So I did it the only way I knew through performance and steered into a Stand up show.

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

In particular for Naked yes. The event that happened to me affected me profoundly and the audience feel it to. It is laughing through the pain and the audience feel it too.

Phi and Me reminds me the daily struggle of refugees and migrants have to go through. It also shows the second generation conflict with their own identity. To be a teenager is one thing but to be a person of two cultures is a see saw.

How did you become interested in making performance?

I was a performer as a wee child. There is video footage of me dancing with toilet rolls in the living room and dancing with my dad. It has always been my form to share my conflicts my joys and to connect to people.

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

I am always inspired by other people's work and it extends my brain to think what do I want to see and what do I want the audience to feel. I love the fringe theatre making. You can just go for it and see what happens.

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

I am a improviser by nature and adapt to the situations that are given to me by the audience. I like not knowing what could possibly happen and that excites me.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

Joy sadness and rejuvenation.

It is a rollercoaster in life and through my comedy I think it is important to go through that.

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

I think about how can I change your prospective from when you first entered looking at me...and what do you see me now when you leave.

Or can we leave without feeling?

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