BOMB COLLAR AT NEW ZEALAND FRINGE
Here are some nicely blurry phone photos of my recent weekend in Wellington, where I performed two nights of Bomb Collar in the bar area of the Vogelmorn Bowling Club. VBC is the home of Barbarian Productions, a multidisciplinary troupe who’ve carved out an delightfully fruity arts hub within the leafy paradise that is suburban Wellington.
Luckily the bowls club aesthetic is still strongly in evidence. It was fun to take the show back into ad hoc site-specific territory after the relative slickness of my Public Theatre season. I also got to debut some extensions to the ‘set’ in the form of portable lighting units created by Adam ‘My Light In The Darkness’ Thomas. I’ll go into more detail about those when I have some better photos, and maybe even get Adam to do a guest blog (that’s right Adam, I’m calling you out!)
I also got to do my alternate 20-minute time-travel-y version of the show as a late night Fringe Club slot. This version is a LOT looser and impro-y, all the better for rowdier late-night crowds, and my crowdwork skills have definitely improved somewhat. As in, they actually exist now. I couldn’t have achieved any of it without production costumer/co-star/emergency front of house and production assistant Adelaide Rief. Adelaide features in the show as battalion commander who introduces me to her troops (aka the audience) at the start of the show, a device that’s allowed me to effectively address so many of the expositional challenges inherent to a dystopian sci-fi cabaret musical.
My bowling club crowd was at least half made up of grandparents and grandchildren, not a crowd I would have thought to proactively court. It felt like a well-timed challenge to play to a less artsy demographic and the show seemed to play well. New Zealanders are so lovely that it’s hard to tell, but I think the 14-year old boys in the audience were vibing pretty hard on the sci-fi elements.
I’m toying with the idea of a Melbourne season next, I think I want to go extra-gritty with the location. Maybe a supermaket back dock.