Next up in our annual series of Fringe preview Q & A’s, it’s the turn of Jeremy Weller (director) and Mark Traynor (executive producer) of Doglife.
In one sentence tell us about your show.
Jeremy: The struggle to kill your ghosts.
What made you decide to bring a show this year?
Jeremy: It is the second part of a trilogy based upon the life of Thomas McCrudden (a former enforcer for organised crime, who plays himself) started with Doubting Thomas which premiered last year at the Fringe.
Mark: The first instalment premiered at the Fringe 2016 and was well received by both audiences and critics alike. With Doglife we are looking at some aspects of Thomas’ life that were affected by his addiction to violence, especially his personal relationships, the reasons why he chose to follow a darkened pathway in life and what it was like for some of the victims of his choices. The main theme of Doglife however is love and what it can do to an individual. We’re trying to go deep into masculinity and the battle between the sexes, sometimes reaching understanding, sometimes ending in confusion and even violence. We’re going after the roots of love, how and where do we learn about love? And, if not taught when we are growing up, where then can we catch up this learning?
Any advice you’ve heard or can give to anyone coming to the Fringe for the first time?
Jeremy: Advertise well. Flyer all the time.
Mark: Go with your instinct. If you get a good feeling about a show then give it a try. Check out the reputable reviewers, they are normally are consistent. However, there are a few gems to be unearthed by just going to different venues and asking around about what has been selling well.
What makes your show stand out from all the others on offer?
Jeremy: A true story with the person who lived through it, telling it through theatre. A story about a life most of us know nothing about, being told with raw and often uncomfortable emotions.
Mark: We work specifically with untrained actors, people who can deliver performances based on their own experiences. What this does is creates theatre which looks and feels authentic and real – as though the scenes are happening for the first time when you come to watch it. Thomas McCrudden plays himself in the play, as do most of the other characters in the work, or versions of themselves. They draw on tier own personal experiences of love and play them out in a dramatic structure that we create through the devising process.
What show, other than your own, do you not want to miss?
Mark: Heads Up, (I could go on singing) Over The Rainbow.
Jeremy: Not sure yet. Haven’t had time to look. NDS dance is always beautiful.
Finally, the boring but essential bit:
Name of the show: Doglife
Dates: 4 August -27 August 2017 (except 14 & 21)