It’s the time of year for Theatre Bubble to begin publicity for the Edinburgh Fringe – the largest arts festival in the world.
Following on from Smoke & Oakum’s 2015 hit show Cornermen comes Happy Dave, also by Oli Forsyth – a show questioning what youth culture today really means and the ethos of Generation Y. Happy Dave performs at 16:15 at the Pleasance Courtyard, from the 3rd – 29th August (not on the 16th).
Theatre Bubble: What, if anything, do you hope to change about Generation Y?
Oli Forsyth: Well, I think what we’re missing, above anything else, is a sense of identity, an idea of what defines our generation and what sets us apart. Anyone can list of the negatives, the anxiety, the insecurity, our materialistic approach and a culture that’s constantly being moved on and updated, but what about the positives? What have we created that, in two generations time, will be asked to headline Glastonbury or get seen in the window of a vintage shop?
I think we should take our cultural legacy a bit more seriously and not just be content to see another adaptation of King Lear, a remake of the Ghostbusters, a remake of Point Break, a reunion tour of The Rolling Stones or an ironic cover of a song that only came out 5 years ago. If Happy Dave could get people thinking about that then we’re onto a winner.
TB: What can we learn from the 90’s rave scene?
OF: For me, the 90’s rave scene, though an era in it’s own right, is best seen as a continuation of the youth culture that emerged post war. From the 50’s onward a trend emerged of each generation creating it’s own sounds, it’s own noise that united that age group and scared those that came before; from jazz to rock’n’roll, punk to synth. Rave was the last incarnation of that culture and when it was destroyed by the Major government nothing came in to fill its place. We started on a road that led us to manufactured pop bands and the X-Factor Christmas single, and we’re yet to come up with anything different. In 1992 50,000 people raved, completely free of charge, for 5 days at Castlemorton; there were no sponsors, no ticket price, no parking fee, it was just thousands of people saying something about the world they wanted to live in. I reckon we can learn something from that.
TB: What audience do you hope Happy Dave will reach?
OF: One of the best things about the Edinburgh Festival is the sheer variety of audience. It’s not enough to have a show that appeals to mid 20’s, or over 40’s, you’ve got to have something that can speak to anyone, and that should be true of all work worth it’s salt. Happy Dave will mean as much to disgruntled 20 year olds as it will to mid 40’s ex-ravers as it will to over 60’s wondering what on earth’s happening to the youth of today.
TB: What are you looking forward to most about the Edinburgh Fringe?
OF: All of it, I’d live my entire life at the Fringe if I could. You spend a month working as hard as you can to get people in to see a show you care passionately about, and after it’s done you’re out in city that’s humming with some of the most exciting creative projects in the world, what could be better than that?
TB: Why should Fringe audiences come and see your show?
My company, Smoke & Oakum Theatre, has been producing some of the most exciting new writing for the past 4 years, all our shows have been critically acclaimed and have gone on all over the UK; Happy Dave is our best yet.
The show has already secured itself a transfer to the New Diorama, it has a custom made soundtrack by The Flashback Project and it’s been published by Methuen Drama, all before we’ve started rehearsals. If that many people are back our work then I think it’s worth a punt at the Fringe.
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