Saturday, 28 July 2018

The Worst Little Dramaturgy in London@ Lala and Robbie @ Edfringe 2018

What was the inspiration for this performance?

In two words, real life. Two years ago, Robbie and I decided to pack up our lives here in Melbourne and move everything over to London for a new adventure. In a nutshell, the cabaret is essentially our first year living in London, but more specifically, our year living inside a converted warehouse in the northern London borough of Harringey and the 10 characters from all corners of the world that we lived with during that time. It’s musical theatre, camp character comedy heaven, particularly for those of us that have share-house in the past and are all too aware of all of those intrusive housemate scenarios that undoubtedly arise when living with people that you didn’t choose to live with who you don’t really know that well. And hell, when there’s ten of them!

And then of course, there were the struggles associated with getting work within the industry and took it upon ourselves (as so many creatives must) to make work for ourselves rather than wait around for it! And thus, The Worst Little Warehouse in London was born.

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

Absolutely. It’s one of the most pivotal places people might be surprised to come away from with an expanded cranium. Some people don’t like being fed ideas or concepts, but they want to have a well-rounded view of the world. Theatre is such a unique medium where people can sit, consume, digest and walk away once the lights come up and take what parts they choose to take from what they’ve seen, and use that information as they wish.

I’ve learnt more about the world, about people, about ideas and constructs from theatre than I’ve learnt from anything else. Theatre can implement ideas into people but it’s also such a wonderful way for people to know that they are not alone.

How did you become interested in making performance?

We’ve always been interested in the making of theatre. Aside from being actors, we’ve both dabbled in choreography, musical direction and directing and somewhere along the lines of being a performer, your mind often wonders to making and creating and what you’d be like at it. 

It wasn’t until we moved to London and were faced with the realities of long periods of no work, that Robbie and I realised that it was probably time to start making ideas into words, words into a story and our story into a cabaret. And London sure comes with its fair share of inspirations. Seeing the theatre that you see there as often as you can here, it’s hard to not become inspired to begin crafting your own. The city is soaked in originality and there’s no place like it in the world to experiment, to create and to be tempted to try things out.

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

It began with writing the script and collating all of our collective stories about our year. From then, a timeline was made of what would fit where and the plot began to take shape. Because our show is based very closely on our ‘actual’ year inside the house (including the people we lived with) we had some work to do in the way of asserting the reality of the show and the characters within that world. Of course some of the plot-points are slightly exacerbated (to ensure the show be as entertaining as possible) but honestly, many of the stories are extracted purely from real-life happenings. The hardest part of it all was working out how to find a prop that would help us establish each of the 12 characters within the show that we simultaneously play, without detracting and blurring the lines of who ‘we’ were too. Add to that fact the fast and furious pace in which those character changes need to take place, we knew our focus would be ensuring these characters and their associated props be as clear as humanly possible.

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

Robbie and I both have backgrounds predominantly within the realm of Musical Theatre, so writing and performing in something so truly ‘cabaret’ has been an exciting and rewarding experience. Cabaret can be so intuitive, so based on audience reactions, so fleeting and so instinctive. It’s been a real thrill to steer away from the traditional method of getting your script, reading and learning it, blocking with the director, learning your choreography. This time, we’ve felt it out as we’ve gone, changed and chopped constantly and relentlessly played around with things until they’ve felt right and worked so collaboratively with our fabulous director Sarah Redmond. It’s been a challenge but something that will shape future projects and experiences. And of course, working with your real life partner is a new one! We’ve learnt so much about each other and it’s a real rarity to share both a bedroom and a stage with the one you love.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

We hope that they will laugh and laugh lots. When your show is billed as a comedy, that’s the one absolute necessity you need to happen, otherwise you are in trouble! Secondly, we hope they see the relevancies in our share-house humour and relatability. Our show is 55 minutes of real life and we’d like to think that people can share and experience it with us and reflect on their own journey since leaving school and living with friends to perfect strangers. Although it’s 55 minutes of fast paced wacky comedy, we also hope you’ll find moments of pathos and quiet reflection within it. We’ve tried to balance it all out meticulously to ground the production and ensure every type of person can find something meaningful, or similarly hilarious within it.

1 comment :

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