Monday, 7 August 2017

The Dramaturgy I Didn't Take: Christine Firkin @ Edfringe 2017

What was the inspiration for this performance?

We did a short cabaret spot in London in March called The Soundtrack of My Life in a Key I Can Sing We, and the audience enjoyed it.

It was a kernel of an idea and I started on a longer piece with a sliding doors theme…Who would I be if I’d made different choices in life? I had an epiphany in 2014 and changed my life drastically. Lots of soul searching, and the question of choice was high in the list of life issues to consider.
The idea of the audience choosing the roads I should have taken was a gift from a mentor I was collaborating with, Kath Burlinson, and I took it from there.

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

Performance is an excellent space to discuss ideas: from those that affect the individual to those that have global ramifications.
As an art form that reflects the truths of life it is immediate and accessible.
I think that with theatre in which an audience can see themselves is the most powerful form. It doesn’t need to change people…just illuminate some thoughts.

How did you become interested in making performance?

I’ve been making theatre in one form or another for a long term. The changes that I made in 2014 have prompted me to perform them on a wider stage. Telling stories, entertaining and sometimes educating through theatre has always interested me, as does listening watching and experiencing the performances of others.

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

I don’t think I can claim a particular approach to the making of this show. I conceived the idea, talked with Richard Link, MD and performer of this production. I also conferred with several mentors about shape and direction and song choice. We trialled the performance at several stages of development and refined it. I don’t know if that particular process will ever end.

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

This is a departure in style for me. In the 2015 and 16 Edinburgh I produced and performed in The Fabulous Punch and Judy Show. It was written by Brent Thorpe, the principal of Café Debris.
The Roads I Didn’t Take was written by myself, Christine Firkin. It is my professional writing debut.  My other works were written in an education setting.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

My principal objective is to entertain and engage the audience. On other levels I think that many  women in particular will identify with my characters and situations.

If anyone receives the message of positivity and ownership of their own lives, then that’s the ultimate for me.

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

I’m not sure what this question is asking. I wrote something that was compelling and interesting to myself in a form that I would appreciate and trust that there is an audience who will agree. 

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