After having such a wonderful time at New Diorama the other day, we are back to more interviews! I spoke to Jack and Charles from Poltergeist theatre about their show Lights Over Tesco Car Park, another wonderful addition to the sci-fi we've already seen at Incoming Festival This year.
What drove you to make Lights Over Tesco Car Park?
Leaving university and looking back you start to see things you missed. There was a whole tapestry of lives happening in the town around us that we'd never really seen. It's an attempt to reach out, and make some new friends. There's a whole lot of knotty questions tied up in alien sightings: faith, truth, reportage, and it's the perfect topic to bring to a theatre, where these games are being played all the time. Also! there's not enough sci-fi theatre! particularly in smaller scale shows, which can't rely on flashy effects/sets. It's great to see Incoming embrace these sorts of stories with 'Signals' and 'Sex with Robots and Other Devices'.
Tell us a bit about Poltergeist Theatre:
Poltergeist as a company is interested in tackling big ideas, but doing so in a way that is very generous to our audience. We want to create work that sweeps you up in the story, takes some big risks, and gestures off into something bigger than the sum of its parts. We're primarily a devising and new writing company, but we look across time and space for influences.
There are so many ways to tell stories, tackle issues, explore ideas - why theatre
This has been a real point of discussion in the team. Theatre’s most robust and gossiped-about strength - its ability to react directly to the moment - is no longer unique. Any number of online platforms can do that. One of the things that theatre's still got to itself, however, is risk. We're fascinated by the idea that the whole artifice could collapse at any minute, and we're even more interested in the ways that the audience keep the story standing.
What was the last show you saw that you think everyone should see?
I can't speak for the whole company - there are so many shows recently that we've seen and loved - for instance Buggy Baby at The Yard springs to mind. For me, however, 'can't stop can't stop' by samdoestheatre, a highlight of NSDF and heading to the Edinburgh Fringe in August, is worth everyone's attention. Sam's interrogation of OCD is not for the faint of heart, but his method of expression is so varied and excited and it leaves you with a show that is difficult to get out of your brain. We do a lot of work to welcome in our audience, Sam is brave enough to have moments where he pushes them away.
Theatre making is hard and, although we try our best to work around them, it has it’s limits. If you had an unlimited budget, a unquestioningly devoted audience and all the time in the world, what show would you make?
We've got a thousand big ideas for shows in which budget doesn't have a huge effect. What we're increasingly interested in, however, is how to get those shows to audiences. Let's live stream our show nightly to Netflix. That's the dream.
What else in the Incoming Festival line-up are you excited to see?
We're excited to see as much of it as possible! However, we're particular fans of the Backpack Ensemble's The Search for the Black Browed Albatross, and ThisEgg's Me and My Bee. They really get the imagination going.
Lights Over Tesco Car Park is on at New Diorama 1 July and HOME on 5 July!