How would you describe your show in one sentence?
A sermon-esque experience exploring faith, truth and how far we should we go for ‘Gods Will’.
Is this your first visit to Sprint, if so what interesting tales have you been told about what to expect?
This is my first Sprint visit. To be honest I don’t really know what to expect other than the unexpected.
How has the show developed on the way to Camden?
The show has come along way in the past 12 months. Originally titled We Are All, it debuted at Perth Fringe World to an audience of three (my mother being one) and a total disaster. That first performance was a combination of my worst nightmares. I wasn’t completely off book because it was still being written so was reading sections off my iPad which I was also using to control the music playing, so not only was I constantly lost within the text when trying to switch back and forth between apps the iPad stopped talking to my laptop. So to get the music to work I had to run to the back of the auditorium and manually hit play, run back up on stage and at then when it was time to turn it off run back to the far side of the room. It was the most painful and disastrous experience of my life, never have I been so close to walking off mid-performance. Over the next four nights in Perth, I re-wrote the ending, solved my tech issues and got off-book. All in time for a month’s run at the Adelaide Fringe.
Opening night and I had two people from the front row walk out in protest, I knew I was onto something. Over the month, I learned so much about myself and the show. The wide reactions I received was overwhelming, one day a reviewer was shitting all over me and the next I was nominated for an award. But the really amazing moments where the conversations post-show, where people of all faith and backgrounds would openly chat to me about their experiences and beliefs.
I returned home after the festival tour and started planning the next leg of the tour, but with the new title Cleansed in Blood. First was Melbourne, where I further developed the show with someone I had met in Adelaide. Together we reworked the show to what it is now. Gave the show a time and place, an immediacy. Played a couple of nights in Melbourne before a successful run in Sydney. One more Australian show and it was in my father’s living room in Queensland for old school and church friends, a truly bizarre experience. Next was Edinburgh. Played as part of the Freestivals programme and it was during my month’s run I realised the title was still wrong and was guided to the shows current title, Thorn.
Also during my time in Edinburgh I decided to move to London and my first step was to reach out to Camden Peoples Theatre and we agreed that Sprint would be a great fit. A whirl wind of a year and am thrilled and blessed to be apart of the Sprint festival 2016.
How have you been preparing for Sprint?
Just to keep the show fresh and relevant I’ve performed it my own London living room to my neighbours. Every time I perform the show it is different because the audience is so integral to the show. Great to test it on some London locals before my shows at Sprint.
What do you think sets your show apart from all the other festival offerings?
That you as the audience are part of the show. The character is talking to you, now, house lights up and everything is delivered to you. You are his objective, tonight, to bring you to the Lord. This is what makes the show truly uncomfortable and challenging is that I create what it’s like to be in a Pentecostal church service. Stay till the end to see what is really lying beneath. That is what sets it apart is that people think that they have been tricked and are really being preached at. BUT STAY TILL THE END!
What’s the show that you don’t want to miss at this year’s Sprint (apart from your own!)?
Bricking It sounds like an awesome concept for a show. I also will not want to miss The Rave Space. I think the real fun will be the ones you don’t see coming.
If your show was an item being sold on Camden Market, what would it be?
A nasal-cannula attached to a fake oxygen cylinder with a guide on how to fake cancer.
Thom Jordan will perform Thorn at the Sprint Festival on 7 &8 March 2016.