1. Please tell me about your piece and the inspiration behind it – what has provoked it, what questions are you asking?
We are interested in the social values that spring up from the quick judgements that we make in assessing others' choices and possessions. Social worth (or value) and hierarchy is currently intrinsic to our interactions as human beings, and yet we live in the capitalist dream of believing that everything is achievable for everyone. By highlighting these snap judgements we want to ask whether real equality, really valuing everyone the same, can ever be possible if we continue to live in a culture that reinforces the belief that value is based on possessions.
'''2. Please give me three words that sum up your piece'''
Consumerism is (a) religion.
3. Who is involved in your piece and what are their roles?
Jessica Butcher (Writer), Cecily Boys (Director), Nadia Shash (Producer), Toots Butcher (Designer) and Father Desire played by Patrick Myles
4. What is the background to your company? How did you all meet?
Old Bomb Theatre was started by Cecily Boys (Artistic Director) and has had a succession of hit plays at York Theatre Royal, from where the company originates. When Cecily moved south to London, she met Nadia and Jessica when they all did 'Antigone' at Southwark Playhouse together, and then went on to do 'First Draft' at The Etcetera Theatre with Hugh.
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 bar space, we redesigning the bar, adding some bouncers and a confession box. If I told you any more I'd have to kill you.
6. How does your rehearsal/devising process work? It's a combination of writing together as well as improvising the ideas in workshops and with our actor.
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?
Truth. Kindness. And a damn good play.
8. What theatre companies or performance artists inspire you? What have you seen recently that you have raved about to your friends?
Kneehigh are a special kind of god to us. Cecily has just worked with Shared Experience who has been an inspiration for their amazing physical and thoughtful work for a long time for all of us. Cecily recently watched Bound at the Southwark Place which she adored. Headlong’s Enron, Jez Butterworths’s Jerusalem and the Royal Court’s Posh will always hold a special place in her heart. Nadia was at Latitude recently and loved the variety of theatre on offer from the enormous to the intimate but she's a big fan of HighTide so she enjoyed their play 'Eisteddfod' in particular. She also saw a lot of the Globe's 'Globe2Globe Festival' which just proved that you don't need to understand language to understand people, stories and emotions. Jessica is inspired by Fiona Shaw and Miriam Margoyles, to name just a few. She loves theatre that tells stories, believes, and makes her laugh/cry. Jessica raved endlessly about Noises Off at the Old Vic and as part of her Michael Frayn binge adored ‘Here’ at The Rose Theatre, Kingston. She also has a deep love and respect for any Fringe theatre in a small room above a dodgy pub.
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?
Nadia's family hail from the Middle East - haggling is in the blood, it's a way of life. You haggle harder and fiercer than your neighbour or you won't survive long. Best bargain I got was 24 hours at the Bush, 3 meals and 66 plays when I came to see '66 Books'!
10. What would you pay for your work?
We've already sold our souls to the God of Theatre, countless times - so, yeah, anything, quite frankly.
11. What kind of interaction are you expecting to have with your audience?
One on one.
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?
No matter how many books we read or advice we are given, it is only experience that really, truly changes us. Immersive theatre gives you a dose of experience like a vaccination. You might fight it on one level, but if it's administered correctly, it can end up saving your life.
13. What challenges does Bush Bazaar pose for your company?
Old Bomb Theatre has done a lot of plays with direct address to the audience and Brechtian settings, but we've never devised a show that is literally one to one with the audience. It'll be a challenge but it's an exciting one, and really great to flex the muscles of the company in every theatre direction.
14. What are your company’s plans after Bush Bazaar? What are your long term plans?
Old Bomb Theatre are re-producing Jim Cartwright's 'Bed' at the Brockley Jack Studio Theatre in September which we have already done a production of at York Theatre Royal earlier this year. We have a very exciting workshop for an innovative production of Hamlet planned for the autumn. After that, world domination.
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 the old gods are dead. Meaning in our lives comes in all shapes and sizes and at the most unexpected times, and that is where theatre is progressing to. In fringe theatre it is effectively coming full circle to groups of travelling players where everybody does more than one job in the company. Theatre is a much more accepted profession to go into than it was 100 years ago, but we have to ask ourselves what a saturation in the market means to the evolution of the business.
16.Do you have any tips or tricks up your sleeve for getting the best price from our audience..? What's your selling strategy?
17. Why should I come to see your act? What will I leave your act with? What will I gain?
18. If your piece was a well known person or fictional character, who would it be and why?
Lord Henry from “The Picture of Dorian Grey”
19. Who would be your dream audience member and why?
Gordon Gecko, from “Wall Street”
20. What are you most looking forward to with Bush Bazaar?
Working amongst such an exiting group of theatre makers – it's going to be London's most inventive, creative hubbub for August 2012!