1. Please tell me about your piece and the inspiration behind it – what has provoked it, what questions are you asking?
MEAT’s origins lie in deconstructing your usual dinner party and examining the sometimes conflicting value systems that are masked by middle-class respectability. We began musing as a company as to where was the most extreme place we could take this familiar situation, stripping away all civility to reveal something darker. Where we ended up was somewhere slightly grotesque, slightly humorous, certainly heightened, but hopefully both entertaining and thought provoking. We wanted to examine the baser instincts we all harbour, and how society necessitates that we suppress these in order for it to continue. When people give in to them on mass, things begin to crumble.
MEAT exists as both an installation and a live performance, the idea being that if you get to experience both, they compliment one another and expand upon the original narrative. Hopefully neither the performance nor the installation will be conducted in ways you’d expect. We aim to surprise with MEAT.
2. Please give me three words that sum up your piece
Funny, dark & sensory.
3. Who is involved in your piece and what are their roles?
Director: Erica Miller,
Writer: Joe Von Malachowski
Designer: Moi Tran
Cast: Samuel Dutton & Sari Easton
Sound Design: Helen Skiera
Lighting Design: Tim Deiling
Casting: Nadia Shash
Production Manager: Ria Samartzi
Design Assistant: Helenka Hewitt
Foley Consultant: Darren Clark
Legal Consultant: Keith Hill
4. What is the background to your company? How did you all meet? – or - what is your background as a performer?
The team has been assembled especially for MEAT and Bush Bazaar. Some of us had worked together before, whilst some have us were fans of each others work and were looking for an opportunity to work together. When Theatre Delicatessen did their call put for Bush Bazaar, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to put together a group of talented individuals.
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 taking over the dressing room. The set- full of metal, wood, hard angles and heat is a great contrast to the tone our piece.
6. How does your rehearsal/devising process work?
Differently for every project. With MEAT it has been a very collaborative experience; the cast, director and writer came together with an idea in mind and explored it through a combination of discussion and improvisation. When characters and narrative began to emerge the writer then goes away and produces a first draft script. Alongside the rehearsal element, our designer has been developing her vision of set and installation, which both informs and is informed by what we do in the rehearsal room.
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?
My dog & the freedom to create.
8. What theatre companies or performance artists inspire you? What have you seen recently that you have raved about to your friends?
I love theatre that makes you think and moves you emotionally -in which direction it does these things does not matter. So I raved about Three Kingdoms by Simon Stephens, The Fantasist by Theatre Témoin, Filter’s version of A Midsummer Nights Dream and a Polish company Piesn Kozla (Song of the Goat).
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?
I’m not a haggler- I’m far too shy.
10. What would you pay for your work?
I must admit, I’m hoping to get in for free.
11. What kind of interaction are you expecting to have with your audience?
Varied; in one sense it’s actually quite a tactile, trusting piece, whilst in another there is a very traditional ‘play’ element to MEAT- you will listen to words that tell a story spoken by actors. I don’t want to give too much away.
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?
Good immersive theatre caters for every type of audience member. It’s about presenting an audience with options; you can enter into this world as much or as little as you want, but at every level there is something to enjoy. As long as you can create a world where that is the case, and never seek to embarrass or bully anyone, then there is no reason why everyone cannot enjoy immersive theatre.
13. What challenges does Bush Bazaar pose for your company?
As we’re working together for the first time as a company, there are always challenges and compromises that emerge. The event itself is also inherently challenging; over 20 companies in one theatre vying for audience. That’s what makes it so exciting.
14. What are your company’s plans after Bush Bazaar? What are your long term plans?
We don’t know. It’s been an amazing experience so far. We’d all like to work together again.
15. What does theatre mean to you in 2012? How do you see the performance world opening itself up to new ideas and possibilities?
Theatre in 2012 seems to be in a pretty exciting state. I don’t buy all the talk about live performance being in decline; there are a lot of interesting playwrights, companies and theatres out there. If it carries on going the way it is, I think it’d be in a good place.
16. Do you have any tips or tricks up your sleeve for getting the best price from our audience..? What's your selling strategy?
Probably begging. Perhaps making them feel guilty. We all need to eat at the end of the day. Even artists.
17. Why should I come to see your act? What will I leave your act with? What will I gain?
You will leave our act with a queasy stomach. Perhaps. But you will certainly have laughed and gasped in the intervening period.
18. If your piece was a well known person or fictional character, who would it be and why?
A Welsh actor’s most famous character. I can say no more.
19. Who would be your dream audience member and why?
George Clooney. Why? Oh come on…
20. What are you most looking forward to with Bush Bazaar?