We are about to pack up our hampers and throw Oyster Boy back into the arms of Italy and America…
First stop is Italy where we will be performing shows of ‘Oyster Boy’ over eight days in a number of theatres and schools near Mantova. As we performed at Rome Fringe last June, we have already adapted the text of the show to include some Italian. Not a lot of Italian was added, however, and thankfully the audience were able to understand despite the language barrier. This is a very positive thing for us, as it is one of the main aspects of this style of theatre – that it is not entirely reliant on the text to tell the story. In fact I saw a show recently that featured Dutch as the main language and although the exact sense completely went over my head, I was able to grasp the understanding because of the expression and the performance surrounding it. I feel this is something we will focus on more, as we are lucky to have five languages between us within the company, and we would like to explore the usage of them further.
After we fly back from Italy, we have a month of rehearsing (and working, sadly!) before we hit the airport again to fly off to sunny Florida! We have been invited to play at Orlando Fringe Festival, where we will do a number of performances of ‘Oyster Boy’ as well as meeting other artists from the festival and checking out the town of Mickey Mouse! After meeting the producer of the festival at San Diego Fringe Festival last year, we can’t wait to go and check out Orlando Fringe and experience another festival. Along with a spring cleaning of the props and remaking of the costumes, Oyster Boy himself has been dusted down and had a bit of a makeover, and is ready to face the sunshine of Orlando.
Then…onto San Diego where will be returning with our new show, ‘The Hideout’ which we performed in January at a great venue in South London called Café Cairo. Since that performance which was quite site-specific and immersive as the venue leant itself so nicely to improvising with moving the audience around, we are now in the process of developing it to be more adaptable for touring, so that it will work in a completely different setting. Our venue in San Diego is a lovely old theatre called ‘Spreckels’, located downtown, and seemingly quite flexible in terms of how we use the space. ‘The Hideout’ currently includes a live band and audience interaction and so we are thinking of staging the show so that it has in-the-round seating. This will lend itself nicely to create the feel that the audience are actually in the speakeasy bar (our main setting) with us. Lots to think about and lots to look forward to for this tour – we are really excited to reconnect with the people we met last year and also see new work and meet new artists too.
That’s all for now, wish us luck bringing two show’s worth of stuff plus all our own baggage through customs!!!