Sunday, 29 July 2018

The Dramaturgy Behind the Stars: Eliza Jackson @ Edfringe 2018

What was the inspiration for this performance?

It was actually my mum who heard about Marni Nixon and suggested I write a show about her… This was years ago and at that point I couldn’t think of anything worse than writing my own show and starring in it… I think I was just scared to be honest… I wasn’t ready. Because I’ve really loved every second of making the show come to life – it just needed to be when I was ready for it!

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

Performance will always be the best space in my opinion for discussing ideas. I am such a fan of theatre as an art form but also as a platform. It can make ideas so accessible and relatable and also easier to understand. I love when I walk out of a theatre and feel like I’ve learnt something. 

How did you become interested in making performance?

I’ve always really admired people who create their own theatre but as I mentioned before, the thought also always terrified me. But there comes a time when you just have to suck it up and give it a go and once I’d read just a little about Marni Nixon and her incredible life I knew I had to tell her story.

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

I did a whooooole lot of research before I started writing. As the show is based on a real-life person I couldn’t just jump straight in without knowing the facts. I read Marni’s autobiography and scoured the internet for any stories or interviews on her and then once I felt like I kind of knew her, then I dove straight in and started the show… The show has obviously changed a fair bit since I started writing it back in December but the structure is still very much the same.

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

This is my first show (hopefully of many!) so who knows? Maybe I’ve created my own writing style – we’ll have to wait and see!

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

Marni Nixon was immensely successful and yet even though you'd unknowingly recognise her voice, most people don't know anything about this incredible woman. This show really does have something for everyone, but especially if you love those old-school movie musicals: West Side Story, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady. This one-woman show tells her story - the scandal, the secrets and the songs. It has something for everyone, and exposes the truth behind some of the world's most loved movie musicals.

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