Friday, 12 October 2012

Beat Magazine interviews the Captain

[Captain Frodo] puts on a master class of physical comedy, as if the black and white films of Buster Keaton had come alive and actually were funny.  

JACK FRANKLIN, Beat Magazine

The following is from an interview with yours truly from Beat Magazine in Melbourne in preparation for La Soiree's season in Melbourne starting October 11th with its first preview.  (reading the direct transcription of my words from an interview they do sound convoluted... They would benefit for some editing...)

David O'mer from La Soiree.
"La Soirée (rebadged from its Spiegeltent days of La Clique) is an absolutely wonderful, horrifying, impossible, astounding joy. It is a circus to stretch the sensibilities, a sideshow that has been given a full reign. It is as bawdy as it is sinfully beautiful. It is a true cabaret, not some grubby burlesque but a good old-fashioned variety show with full frontal nudity, coarse language and adult concepts are all expected, sometimes before you even make it to your seat. A rotating cast of miscreants form the rogue’s gallery that passes for a cast, each bringing a unique talent to bare in front of an ever more shocked and shrieking (with laughter or approval) audience. From the famous Bath Boy with his tight, wet, denim acrobatics through to the corpulent showstopper in spandex, Le Gateau Chocolat – no two acts are the same or even remotely similar to anything you have seen.
The show is about the personality of each performer: Captain Frodo, Frodo is his real name by the way, could be called just simple contortionist but that would be huge undersell. He first performed aged ten alongside his father, a magician, and the years of performance and showmanship shine brightly. He puts on a master class of physical comedy, as if the black and white films of Buster Keaton had come alive and actually were funny.   
“I had been doing contortion stuff for a long time and you need to find your own angle on everything,” he says of his act. “Because of the stuff I have been given by nature, my act is a very visceral experience for people. People find it very challenging to watch. When you are doing it as a street show and people haven’t paid and are committed to sitting through something, then if what you do is too challenging to watch they cover their kids’ eyes or walk away. So to develop a character that is a bit slapstick in they style of Chaplin is a good thing since in that context ,if somebody gets a brick in the head it’s funny where as in real life it is a tragedy. So I have found a way to present something that by its very nature makes people uneasy and makes it palatable.
If you can get the crowd on your side, they will go with you much further than they thought. When you do take the crowd with you, when they give up their apprehension, their pleasure and excitement is shocking and exciting to them.   “There might be people that disappear hankies, squeeze through tennis rackets or juggle knives better than us but the acts in this show transcend their talent so that it becomes about a story and a character, transporting the crowd to places they wouldn’t even have thought they would enjoy – it might have sounded vulgar or repulsive to them – but we change the rules to make it safe to enjoy.”
La Soirée will be delighting those brave enough to attend at The Forum Theatre from Thursday October 11 through to Sunday November 18.

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