In Conversation with Kidding Ensemble
Words: Caomhan Keane
Kidding Ensemble, a young, feisty, gaggle of girls are thirsty to create as much as they can, to throw themselves into the world of theatre! Committed to create engaging and creative work rooted in the imagination, they want to distinguish themselves from the "TV-on-the-stage-theatre", to explore means of communications that are not language reliant. Their new piece COSAS, opens at the New Theatre this Wednesday. One of the group, Marie-Geneviève Linotte , talks here to Caomhan Keane
Tell me a little about your history as a company, why you formed and what you have done?
We officially created the company in 2009. The three of us came from similar background. Veronika is a puppeteer, Angelica and I are both clowns and actresses, and we all have experiences working with children. For us, one of the most interesting challenges for an artist is to create work for very young audiences, that communicates efficiently with said audience without being patronising, retaining true artistic qualities.
So we created our first production, "Knock, Knock Who’s There?" a play for children aged 2 to 5 years old premiered at the Flip Flop Festival in The Pavilion theatre. Since then we have produced "Creatures From Suitcases" a play for children aged 6 to 9 years inspired from the Polish tales "Bromba I Inni", and "Pining For The Fjords" a show about the fear of death for an adult audiences choreographed by Megan Kennedy and Jessica Kennedy from Junk Ensemble,.
Tell me about this production. What's the story?
Cosas is the first part of a clown trilogy exploring the relationship between human and objects, what they reveal of our own individuality's but also of humanity as a whole. Cosas is a 45-minute solo clown show for an adult audience, dealing particularly with technology. Our clown, Cosas (Things in Spanish), lives in a rudimentary and timeless place with objects that she has distorted and pushed to the extreme to suit her own needs.
What was the inspiration behind it?
Would you believe me if I tell you that I get frustrated and angry everyday with my computer? But that I couldn’t live without it? I think that everyone can relate to this...In general, I think that our clown shows come from our personal observations about life and what it means about us as human beings. We really wanted to talk about the endless possibility that technology offers but also the other side of the coin such as the notion of dependence and isolation that it can create. And the potential for laughter is endless.
How was it devised?
We devised it part time for a period of about 6 months and then once we had lots of material, we had 4 weeks of rehearsal. We improvised a lot with different objects and see what came out. The set had to come in quite early because Angelica needed time to find the possibilities of each piece. Niamh Jackman designed the set but Angelica built most of the set herself, and it all came from scrapped yards, dumpsters and old cables that we all have at home, 100% recycled! Anyone who wants to have a close look, come and talked to us after the show, we’ll show you around.
Tell me about The 10Days in Dublin festival. How did you get involved with them? How does it differ from all the other festivals out there?
We met Dan, one of the festival directors, in a clown workshop and talked about our projects and sent in an application and got the great news that we programmed. The great thing about this festival is that it is very open, which means that it is a true platform for young artists and it’s got a great variety of acts which means that everyone will find something they like. I think it will become one of the key events of Dublin in the years to come.
Who are your biggest influences in Irish Theatre?
Our biggest influence in the Irish scene would be Barabbas Theatre Company. We saw a lot of their show and did quite a few workshops with them. Recently after performing in "City Of Clowns" we knocked at Raymond Keane’s door to ask him to mentor us, which he kindly accepted. We were his assistant director for Trinity College’s show "College Of Clown" and he is helping us greatly. He is the most open and generous director that I know in Dublin. We have also been very impressed by "The Corn Exchange" and "The Blue Raincoat" theatre companies and feel close to company like "Mangiare" with "Cirque Du Legume" and "Carpet Theatre" which recently produced "Pigeon"
What's next for you as a company?
We are opening and bringing in a few Irish artists as associated members of the company such as John Meany who is a designer and Alice Toner, video artist. Also, "Mag’s Tail", the part two of our clown trilogy, will be announced in July as part of the line up of a very exciting event happening in Dublin this September... I let you guess which event I am talking about!
Story by EI Team | 09:00 | Wednesday 11th July 2012 | Theatre
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