Swindon Fringe Friday blog – Who’s in the spotlight today?
In The Spotlight
Saturday 9rth April, 2pm & 7pm
Shoebox Theatre & Town Hall
Banging Fun Stuff by The Cutlery Crew
The Cutlery Crew want everyone to have fun, feel uplifted and prance joyfully about the place. But a crime has been committed and all hope rests upon PC Pauline, a worrisome Policewoman searching for suspects. Don’t let her gangliness fool you. There is a cunning mind buried deep … deep down inside her; stored next to her sexy siren. She solves crime. She can twirl and jump through a hoop. She was shortlisted for the Policewoman of the Year 1999. But her fate is in your hands…
A Number written by Caryl Churchill. Produced by Madam Renards
You get called into the doctor’s for a chat. He tells you you are not unique. You are not the only one of you that exists. He tells you that you are simply a number.
Bernard always thought he was an only child – but at the age of 35 he learns the shocking truth. Set in the near future, this play addresses human identity and nature vs nurture.
A Number is a fast paced, dark and twisted play that will have you questioning your very own upbringing. It was first performed at the Royal Court in in 2002 with Michael Gambon and Daniel Craig.
Gatecrash Improv Night by Gatecrash Theatre Company
Who knows what will happen? Trained improvisers from Gatecrash Theatre bring you a tasty comedy feast made-up of audience suggestions and the wonder of the imagination. You choose the story, they create the action!
Once things have warmed up we will open the stage up and with the support of the crew we invite the audience to give it a go… If you are game enough. If not, sit back and watch what unfolds. Laughter guaranteed.
Murder She Didn’t Write by Degrees of Error
Move over, Sherlock! YOU are the detective in this original and hilarious improvised murder mystery comedy! Each night Degrees of Error present a brand new murder mystery play based on your suggestions.
YOU decided who lives and who dies! The motives are mounting and the evidence is everywhere… but will you guess whodunnit before the suspects are called to the drawing room?
Unrestrained bursts of joy ★★★★★ BristolTheatreReview.com
Who are they?
Amanda: She’s the lead performer, comic genius, founder of the Cutlery Crew
Josh: He’s from Norwich
Together, this dynamic duo comprises The Cutlery Crew. They’ve been working together for 2 years and Banging Fun Stuff represents their latest foray into weird, energetic, comedy.
Madam Renards are a well-established performing arts company with a mission to produce, promote, and support local art for the audiences of Swindon. This is the first time they are supporting an established piece of writing in the form of A Number under the direction of Molly Campbell. Founded by Matt Fox and Jessie Thompson they have grown in size and stature in recent years. They currently have 3 shows on tour around England as well as creating and running the Swindon Fringe Festival from its inception 4 years ago.
Gatecrash Theatre Company were formed in 2015 in a reaction to a lack of developmental theatre opportunities in Swindon for people post 18. Although there are plenty of options for youngsters looking to tread the boards, similar possibilities for adults are limited. Gatecrash offers a way for adults to break back into the arts with quality professional practitioners and several developmental opportunities. Improvisational comedy is just one of the key areas they train in, Gatecrash Improv Night is a prime example of their craft.
Back in the day, Degrees of Error primarily performed comedy gigs but as their work expanded and diversified they found themselves being drawn into the limitless world of Improvisation. The majority of the company met at Bristol University and as with most graduates they are currently NOT working in the field they spent three to four years training in (hence the name). Murder She Didn’t Write was created at the first ever Bristol Improv Theatre Festival in 2013 and has been highly commended from reviewers all over the UK.
What’s special about them?
Saturday 9th April is another fantastic day of performing arts that offers the chance to once again see contrasting pieces that sit at opposite ends of the creative spectrum. The 9th of April showcases traditional theatre juxtaposed against its contemporary counterpart.
We start with A Number by Caryl Churchill (Top Girls, Love and Information). It is an intense two hander that’s quick, funny and dark in all the right places. It’s about a man who finds out that he was never born. Instead cloned, he seeks out his father as he goes looking for answers surrounding his upbringing. You will like the intensity of this naturalistic piece brought out by the two talented performers. This is a challenging play that touches on several big themes: Identity, nature vs nurture, descent and conception. The script is as tortuous and barbed as it is riddled with sincerity and dark humour. Then Banging Fun Stuff brought to you by The Cutlery Crew. This is an electro-character comedy duo. Merging live and sampled electronic music and sound effects on stage with larger than life physical comedy, the Crew bring a fresh and engaging new take on storytelling. The companies couldn’t be further apart in style but both pledge a brilliant afternoon of theatre.
If you love ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway”, stand-up comedy or fancy a night out with a difference, then come and see Gatecrash Improv Night and Murder She Didn’t Write. 2 hours of fun, hilarity and crime solving. You’ll experience improv in its more traditional form with ‘scenes we’d like to see’ and ‘prop play’ and then we turn to a more recent improv direction where the performers groups take on the task of creating original narratives with suggestions from the audience. There isn’t much else we can tell you about this evening as even the performers won’t know what they are doing until the night itself. Such is the magic of spontaneous theatre. So if originality is your thing, you really can’t get much fresher than a full night of improv!
What they had to say…
Describe your company in 3 words:
MR: Fresh. Artisan. Challenging
DOE: Band without instruments!
What your show’s selling point / highlight?
TCC: Either a bit with an airplane safety vest or the bit with the spoons. I’m not going to spoil it by going into any more detail though.
GTC: That the audience will affect what happens.
I would be happy if my performance at the Swindon Fringe Festival…?
MR: Forced the audience to feel empathy towards Dolly the Sheep.
DOE: …makes people see more improv shows. It’s a beautiful art and rapidly growing in the UK.
What kind of audiences do you appeal to?
MR: If you liked Humans on Channel 4, you’ll like this. It’ll have you calling your mum after an existential crisis.
GTC: Anyone who fancies a fun, no commitment, good night out with a chance to influence what happens on stage.
What is the weirdest feedback you’ve ever received?
TCC: ‘I don’t understand why I find you funny’ or ‘It’s about time you got married or did something sensible’ (my Dad)
DOE: We asked the audience for an occasion to base the story around once, and a man said “Putting your cat in a bin.” Without hesitation we started the first scene at a cat sanctuary where we were all guests at a feline funeral. Mr. Gold, playing the Vicar, quite ceremoniously said a few words, then DUMPED a cat in a bin while the rest of us wailed and howled in sadness. Turned into a brilliant murder mystery with a mixture of animal activists and wealthy benefactors.
If your show was a superhero, who would it be?
MR: The Hulk. The play is an unwanted symptom of a science experiment that has gone completely out of hand.
TCC: A cross between Batman and Bananas in Pyjamas.
DOE: Catwoman – classy, conniving, maybe a Russian accent.
What will the public like about your performance?
GTC: The spontaneity and reactive nature of the group.
DOE: I think people coming to Swindon’s Fringe will love the bespoke, interactive elements of the show. The story is completely different each time, plus one lucky audience member will get to choose our villainous murderer!
What was the first live performance you ever saw?
TCC: An ape playing the flute and then throwing sponge bananas at the audience. It was mesmerising and terrifying. I was 6 at the time and I decided then and there that I wanted to throw fake fruit at people for a job and marry George Michael. 1 out of 2 isn’t bad!
MR: It was Batman on Ice in Thailand. My brother was all dressed up as batman ready to watch his hero skate to music but as soon as the Penguin, Catwoman and The Joker came out, he freaked, wailed and we had to leave early…
What was your first starring role?
TCC: The shepherd. I was robbed. I should have been Mary but stupid Mary O Leary got the part and she was rubbish and do not get me started on Imelda Marshall’s farce of an innkeeper
DOE: Bill Sykes in Oliver Twist (aged 8). Nailed it.
If you would like to see these two great performances on the Saturday 9th April matinee, book your tickets here:
And book Saturday 9th April evening tickets here: