Regional Room - ThisEgg / Luke Wright

What to expect at Regional Room: ThisEgg / Luke Wright

| Tue 29 Mar 2016

Our festival of ideas is back with two nights of work by established and emerging artists across art forms. Regional Room will be focusing on artists from outside London, as part of A Nation's Theatre, which celebrates theatre from around the UK. On Thursday 12 May we welcome ThisEgg with Goggles and Luke Wright with What I Learned From Johnny Bevan to our Creation Space. We caught up with them to find out more about what inspired the work, what to expect on the night and more about the creation process.

ThisEgg is an emerging company exploring ways of making theatre inspired by their own experiences of the lives they are living.

Can you tell us a bit more about what inspired Goggles?
We were at uni together and being surrounded by an immense pressure to achieve and succeed along with the sudden coverage of mental illness/awareness in the media got us thinking about what it takes to make people happy. We thought about what we needed from each other to make each other happy. Then our own hopes and fears started developing - as young women the fear of not finding ‘love’ while our friends do. Can friendship be enough? And are people, whoever they are, born to be together? Then loneliness came into it, and even more strongly the fear of being alone. That being said, we always want to make people laugh - we think it’s important to keep laughing. The ‘fish thing’ just sort of happened. Fish are pretty cool and weirdly like humans in their unhappy symptoms…

What can we expect from the show?
A (sort of) ode to our dead fish, Sunny and Boo.
We have been doing lots of talking, followed by lots of writing - which is making its way into a script that we plan to use (for the most part) as the basis for Goggles. We're really excited about it. We think it's funny. But we also think it's a bit sad, though we hope it will make you happy. What we will be presenting at Regional Room Festival will be a work-in-development so we’d love to talk to people about what they see after the show. Feedback always forms a vital part of our process!
You can expect: Two performers. Two pairs of goggles. A fish tank (though not a real one - one day)… Fun, friendship and pond-ering.

What’s the most interesting thing that you’ve come across in the creation process?
The creation process for Goggles has been great. It’s been slow but steady. We work together when we can, as often as we can. Actually, location comes into this quite a bit because although we started making the piece together in Norwich, we both moved over the summer. There have been times when we ‘rehearse’ over Skype! Because of the way we have made the show in stages (for example, 10 minutes followed by a showing, then 20 minutes etc) we are always working towards something more - bigger and better! There’s a version of this show in our heads were we really do have a fish tank on stage - human sized - and we really jump in and out of it. We think scale is interesting and how it doesn’t have to influence your process at all. The story and the way it is told is at the heart of the piece and if people enjoy it with nothing but the performers on stage, imagine where else it could go!

Luke Wright is a poet, theatre maker and occasional broadcaster, delivering multi award-winning performances.

Can you tell us a bit more about what inspired the performance?
This story didn’t come from a single flash of inspiration. Rather it was a layering of ideas on top of one another. I was re-reading Brideshead Revisited (as I do most years when the ditches are “creamy with meadowsweet!”) when it struck me that although Sebastian’s plight is indeed tragic, it is perhaps eased by his trust fund. Most of us have somebody from our youth whom life has left behind, few are the youngest sons are Earls. Around the same time I read George Walden’s excellent book on Dandyism and Beau Brummell (Who’s a Dandy?) Walden asserts that although dandyism for Brummell meant opulence (he had four tailors work on each of his gloves and washed his boots in champagne) the modern dandy is more likely to achieve his style by clever, often ironic approbation of the mass produced. Indeed, I grew up in the 1990s, when Jarvis was king and working class iconography was frequently used to sell records. This middle class obsession with the authenticity of the working classes was something I experienced my adolescence in leafy north Essex. I was keenly aware of my relatively privileged upbringing as I made friends with people from different backgrounds. Then at university, like my protagonist, Nick, I was bewitched by a clever and more worldly-wise ranting poet from London’s east end.

What can we expect from the show?
It’s all in verse, although you’ll forget that for most of the show. The metre and occasional rhyme should hopefully just make it a more pleasurable listening experience. Hopefully. It’s funny in places, intense in other places. We like to think it feels shorter than it is.

What’s the most interesting thing that you’ve come across in the creation process?
I find that question almost impossible to answer. It was all interesting and all very hard work. I learned a lot as a writer, about what works over a long form piece. Perhaps the biggest thing for me has been performing this piece night after night and understanding what is like to act. I had always assumed acting was a slog - it never interested me, but I’ve learned just how exhilarating it can be.

See Goggles by ThisEgg and What I Learned From Johnny Bevan by Luke Wright at artsdepot Thursday 12 May.

Read about What to expect from Regional Room: Lydia Cottrell / Uncanny Theatre

More about Regional Room Festival.

More about A Nation's Theatre Festival.


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