Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The Duke of Dramaturgy: Shon Dale-Jones @Edfringe 2016

Shon Dale-Jones presents 
Pleasance Upstairs, 
3-29 August at 15:30. Presented by Hoipolloi, PBJ Management and Theatre Royal Plymouth in association with Save the Children.

As I sat, coming to the frightening realisation that the script I'd been writing for ten years no longer fit in a world that was spiralling out of control, my mother called to tell me the Duke of Wellington, a porcelain figure my father bought for £750 as an investment in 1974, had broken while dusting. 

It seemed there were three problems to be fixed – the script, the world and the porcelain figure. The Duke playfully mixes fantasy and reality, taking audiences on an imaginative and touching journey full of laughter.

What was the inspiration for this performance?

My response to the way the refugee crisis entered my life and my desire to do something about it.

How did you go about gathering the team for it?

It was the first time I worked entirely independently. I needed to keep the costs to a minimum because my aim is to raise money for Save The children’s Child Refugee Crisis Appeal.

How did you become interested in making performance?

A fantastic teacher called Denis Lavin introduced me to improvisation at school when I was fifteen.

Was your process typical of the way that you make a performance?

I’ve made over 20 live shows since 1994 – my process changes according to the show I’m making. This process used a lot of writing and audio improvisation – it is text and sound heavy

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

A desire to give money and support to the appeal –  Save The Children’s Child Refugee Crisis Appeal. A desire to empathise and be generous with the people we call refugees during this period of their lives. A desire to re-evaluate their value system.

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

The way the show ends needs to push the audience to donate money. I chose a point blank ‘ask’ alongside some very uplifting music to make it big and happy.

Do you see your work within any particular tradition?

It’s storytelling. It’s mixing fantasy and reality. It has some magic realism. It’s standup meets theatre meets comedy meets drama

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