Victoria Fringe Festival 2016 Preview – An Improvised Quentin Tarantino 2: The Playful Eight
August 21, 2106
Can you have too much of a good thing? ‘Pick of the Fringe’ winner Paper Street Theatre certainly doesn’t think so. This year, Artistic Director Dave Morris leads the charge towards familiar territory as the company returns to the work that put them on the map, An Improvised Quentin Tarantino. Only this time, the banter, the badasses and the bad language will be set against the backdrop of the Old West. Showbill.ca‘s Matt McLaren invites you to stay a while and let Dave convince you why you’re in for some epic laughs.
Matt McLaren: Every time I interview you guys, the question that keeps coming up is how long can you keep your formula fresh and exciting? This Fringe seems to be the answer by exploring sub-genres inside of genres you’ve tackled before. Case in point: Tarantino’s westerns as opposed to the his crime epics.
Dave Morris: Exactly. We’ve never remounted a show before, but the idea to combine Western and Tarantino was too good to turn down. The rehearsal period has shown that not only was it a good idea, but it was a great idea! You’ll see what I mean when you come to the show.
MM: Paper Street is an institution in Victoria. How do you prevent it going to your heads? More interesting question: what do you want to do with all that?
DM: Well, first of all, I’m flattered. Secondly, it hasn’t gone to our heads at all. We’re not exactly swimming in the mainstream by doing theatre in the first place, and by doing improvised theatre, it’s more like we’re bathing in some obscure brook hidden in a far off secret valley that not many people know about, let alone want to visit.
Our plan is to keep doing what we’re doing. Finding styles and genres that appeal to us, and recreating them as best we can in an improvised fashion.
MM: I can’t help but wonder if there’s any crossover with another jewel in your improv crown, An Improvised Western. Certainly that owed more to works like Shane, and Clint Eastwood, but since Tarantino’s bones are built on those works too.
DM: It’s true. When we researched westerns, we found so many great films that we hadn’t seen yet. Once Upon a Time in the West springs to mind. In watching Tarantino’s Westerns we saw some of the same elements we saw when researching westerns and thought: Perfect! We already know how to do this. The challenge with this piece has been making sure the audience feels both the western and the Tarantino of it all, and try to keep one from overpowering the other.
MM: So what was kept from last time, in your prep for the show, and what was dropped?
DM: Most of it was kept actually. The swearing, the anecdotes, the violence and the perfect precise movement to music. In fact, all we’ve done is add some western swagger, language, and storytelling.
MM: Very excited to know: who’s onboard to wrangle up the ponies this time around? And how will you be using sound, lighting, and visuals for this one?
DM: We don’t have our lightning designer Emma Dickerson in the booth for this show, she’s working in another Fringe Venue, but she did help with the prep work. And of course we do have Dan Godlovitch with his laptop and guitar, ready to accompany us as usual.
MM: This has been another big year for Paper Street. What’s the plan for the next year or so?
DM: The next year is about growth. Moving to a larger studio, teaching more classes, putting on more shows. More more more. Season 6 is all ready to go, and we’re excited to announce what shows we’ll be doing after the Fringe, but here’s a hint: picture a raven.
MM: If you were to incorporate a dynamic new risk into your work, what would it be?
DM: I think the biggest risk we as Paper Street Theatre could take would be to start to incorporate some written work into our repertoire. Don’t expect it soon, but don’t completely write it off.
MM: What’s the biggest success you hope you can walk away with from this fringe?
DM: To show people that improvisation belongs in a theatre festival.
MM: Why should people see this work?
DM: If you like what we do, if you like westerns, or if you like Tarantino, you’ll love this show.