We love the looks of The Flop - it looks bonkers! Clown and physical comedy come together in this story of the impotence trials made by Hijinx in association with Spymonkey, and we can't wait.
What drove you to make The Flop?
During development for the show we stumbled upon this fantastic story and it’s one that I’m not sure has been made before. We certainly knew nothing of the impotence trials in 17th Century France before researching this project. It is also the ideal material for a clown show, with elements of vulnerability, hilarity, the outrageous and the potential for extreme idiocy.
We are making this show with Spymonkey, one of the UK’s leading physical comedy producing companies, so immediately we were all extremely excited about the source material and its potential.
What is it about clown that makes the work inviting for an audience?
A clown just wants to be loved, I think because of a clown’s openness, honesty and vulnerability, we as an audience feel a real empathy towards a clown. Each performance is the beginning of a special relationship between a clown performer and his/her audience, and I think this is very inviting for an audience. There is also the potential for each show to be a little different, a clown does not necessarily follow the rules, and again, that can excite an audience.
However, as a company Hijinx produces work which always includes performers with a learning disability, who we train through our professional acting academies in Wales. For this project we have been exploring clown. One particular interest for us and the project is how an audience reacts to a person with Down Syndrome, for example, being a clown on stage. Do they feel uncomfortable with this? Do they need permission to laugh? For us a big part of the project has been trying to understand how we free up an audience to laugh freely with us and our cast, which adds another layer to our story. Can an audience forget their inhibitions to laugh freely with and at everyone on the stage equally?
There are so many ways to tell stories, tackle issues, explore ideas - why theatre?
In the way that we work and make theatre it is never one mind exploring an idea, you get to see the idea from all perspectives that were present in the making of the show. I think this is something special to theatre and specifically devised theatre. It is a far more balanced and exciting way to present ideas.
What was the last show you saw that you think everyone should see?
Tough question, to be honest it’s been a while since I saw a show that made me think “everyone should see this”, I don’t know if that says more about me or the work I have seen recently. I’ve seen some good shows, but not ones that have blown me out the water. The last outstanding show I saw was probably “How to Win Against History”.
What else in the Edinburgh Fringe programme are you excited to see?
We are currently rehearsing The Flop, so I’ve not had much time to have a full look at the programme. However, I am looking forward to seeing “Famous Puppet Deaths” and our friends Blind Summit (who worked with us on Meet Fred) have a new show on, so I’m hoping to catch that. I’m also looking forward to seeing Birds of Paradise “My Left/Right Foot”.
The Flop is on at 16.55 at Summerhall!