1. Please tell me about your piece and the inspiration behind it – what has provoked it, what questions are you asking?
We wanted to look at what really matters to a community. In times when money tight we want to ask what do you really value?
2. Please give me three words that sum up your piece
Value your Fete
3. Who is involved in your piece and what are their roles?
Birds Anonymous is run by Toby Peach and Ellie Robinson and supported by a fabulous troupe of actors.
4.What is the background to your company? How did you all meet? – or - what is your background as a performer?
This is Bird Anonymous' first venture into the theatre world and we're aiming to spread our wings wide as an interactive theatre company. Ellie and I decided we wanted to create theatre that meant something to our audience and so the fete was born.
5.What space will you be performing in at the Bush? Do you know what you’re going to do with the space – do you have elaborate set plans?
We are in the main space and are creating the world of the Newton Wood's village fete. The village fete is run by a band of 'rebel' villagers who have run the fete themselves after it was cancelled after some vicious council cuts
6.How does your rehearsal/devising process work?
Ellie and I have been working on the structure of the piece for a while now and we have now signed people to our troupe of actors who are helping us create Newton Wood- the characters of the village are fast becoming real and it's starting to get really exciting.
7. Bush Bazaar has its roots in the idea of value and the price we put on things? What do you value most in your life?
The 140,000 trillion cells that make us up - they don't get enough credit!
8. What theatre companies or performance artists inspire you? What have you seen recently that you have raved about to your friends?
I recently saw the work of Tom Sachs in New York called 'mission to mars' and I loved it. The piece took up whole New York Philharmonic Orchestra hanger space and showed how faking a mission to mars could happen. It was stripped down though and they showed how they created parts and I loved the atmosphere that gave the audience.
9. There will be an element of bargaining going on between performers and audience members in Bush Bazaar – what is the best bargain you have ever got? Are you a fierce haggler?
The Tom Sachs show is normally $24 but free on Tuesday from 4-7....I stumbled upon it at 3.30 and didn't know anything about the show or the deal- it made my trip!
10. What would you pay for your work?
If it reaches people in the way we want it to then it's priceless!
11. What kind of interaction are you expecting to have with your audience?
Our fete is alive and runs on a 50 minute loop- other than a few set points it is completely audience driven and run on their interactions.
12. What do you think audience members gain from immersive theatre? Does it matter if an audience member is a bit shy or nervous? Will they still enjoy it?
We aim to accommodate those who like to take a back seat. They can take in the space and decide when they want to interact and because our piece is free and largely improvised the actors who run the stalls we aim to accommodate all audience members. Everyone should get something from immersive theatre even if they are the 'backseat' type, its up to the company to support them and evolve to suit.
13. What challenges does Bush Bazaar pose for your company?
A massive step up! We have never worked on something of this scale together and it is pushing us to our limits but we are learning every step of the way and determined to put on a hell of a show.
14. What are your company’s plans after Bush Bazaar? What are your long term plans?
We'll see how we do with this one first....
15. What does theatre mean to you in 2012? How do you see the performance world opening itself up to new ideas and possibilities?
I think theatre is having to move more with the audience that it is trying to reach- theatre has to connect more with an audience and be value for their money. I like to see theatre that's trying to do something rather than just be a play that may have lost touch with the ideals of a modern world.
16. Do you have any tips or tricks up your sleeve for getting the best price from our audience..?
No tricks - just honest facts and community interaction.
17. Why should I come to see your act? What will I leave your act with? What will I gain?
The Village Fete aims to make you leave with a reassessment of what we really value as humans. In such tough economic times it is easy to focus on what we don't have but in reality we have a great deal that we forget is amazing!
18. If your piece was a well known person or fictional character, who would it be and why?
We'd be the smurfs- smurfing along!
19. Who would be your dream audience member and why?
Someone who wants to have fun and is wants to invest in the world of Newton wood.
20. What are you most looking forward to with Bush Bazaar?
The stories that we unearth and the people we meet. It's going to be Bazaar but amazing!