This week we’re delighted to welcome brilliant young theatre company ANTLER back to RADAR two years after their Bush debut in 2013. Here they tell us all about their new show If I Were Me which is on 17-19 Nov.
Can you tell us about your show in one sentence?
Phillip Sandford searches for Phillip Sandford.
Tell us three things about yourselves, one of them must be a lie.
We all met and trained on Uri Roodner’s Contemporary Theatre Course at East 15 Acting School.
A normal company meeting ends in us chanting something loudly.
Our success rate with ACE is 50/50. Excellent odds.
What sparked the original idea for this piece and how has it evolved?
One of our starting points was the myth of Narcissus and Echo, the story of a man who falls in love with his own reflection, and the woman who can only imitate/repeat his words.
There was something in this old story that had huge resonance with our feeling of the world now. The image of Narcisssus looking at his refection in the water is not so dissimilar from the image of someone looking at and cultivating a page on their social media. Little of the original myth remains or can be clearly identified in If I Were Me, but now that we’ve told you, you might get a little hint of it here and there.
Also, we love that RADAR has challenged our view of what New Writing can be. When we were first here 2 years go, we felt like frauds under the tagline ‘The Pulse of New Writing’ – there are certain expectations that come with that phrase. But now we are more confident in the fact that what we make is new, and by the end of the process there is a script, which is written by us all. It’s exciting to be back.
Do you feel your work is inspired by, responding to or reacting against any work from wider culture (films, art, music, etc)?
Perhaps not reacting against or responding to, but we’re definitely inspired by a wealth of art, music and film. There’s definitely some homage to Springsteen, Kaufman and Magritte in this show.
What direction do you feel yourself moving in creatively, and what comes next for you as an artist?
We don’t know just yet. There’s a couple of ideas bubbling around but who knows the exact direction we’ll be moving in next.
Sometimes it feels like there can be a pressure as a young artist or company to work out very quickly what you do, who you are as makers and what your brand as a company is and then to pursue that with full might. We’re still working out these things, we’re still eager to take risks that may or may not pay off, and in a way If I Were Me is very much hitting out against the pressure on artists (+ people generally) to work themselves out so definitively.
We’re compiling a RADAR playlist to play in the bar throughout the festival – we’ll be asking the audience and our Twitter followers to nominate songs that feel ‘on the pulse’, music (from any era) that they feel is under the radar and music that inspires them. What songs would you add to it and why?
Jaz says: “This song recently got cut from the show. But may it live on in the radar playlist.”
Nasi says: “I’m not sure why I picked this song, but at the same time, when listening to it, I know exactly why I picked this song.”
Daniela says: “Because sometimes it’s good to be reminded.”
Richard says: “If you didn’t see me, then you weren’t on the dancefloor”
Hannah says: “Fully above and on top of the radar but is just a great song”
To book tickets to see ANTLER at RADAR 2015 click here.