To find out more about Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 and the spotlights, please see the introductory article.
Next up in our Spotlight feature is Oskar’s Amazing Adventure, which plays Edinburgh Festival until 27 August 2017. I caught up with writer and director Colin Granger:
Describe your show in three words.
Joy for kids.
Is this your first Edinburgh Fringe performance experience?
What haven’t we brought to Edinburgh! We have been coming to the Fringe for 35 years: first as Umbrella Theatre, bringing original productions based on the work of great European cabaretists such as Karl Valentine and Alphonse Allais. Then after starting Komedia in Brighton in 1994 we ran Southside and Roman Eagle Lodge Fringe venues for a number of years, programming them with Komedia’s trademark mix of comedy, theatre and cabaret. Most notably perhaps, we produced the multi award-winning Aurora Nova Festival of International Physical and Visual theatre with Wolfgan Hoffman at St Stephens between 1999 and 2008, bringing companies from all over the world. And finally, getting back to our roots as theatre makers, we set up a new children’s theatre company Theatre Fideri Fidera in 2014 and premiered Pitschi, the Kitten with Dreams on the Fringe which has subsequently performed all over the UK and Ireland and has had over 300 performances so far.
Who else are you most looking forward to seeing while at the Fringe?
This has to be (keeping it within in the Theatre Fidera Fideri family!) my daughter Natasha Granger’s musical 2 Become 1, which she is also performing in at the Gilded Balloon.
How do you feel to be performing at the Gilded Balloon?
Absolutely at home, we have known and worked with Karen Koren at the Gilded Balloon for many years and it is a pleasure to work at such friendly (and spacious!) venue.
Who or what are your inspirations?
I’m inspired by the joy of children’s play – one of the most crucially important things for a child. Oskar is all about play, our set is like a playground with a toy play tent – which quadruples up to be a fireplace, a forest, a winter and spring mountain – and there are lots of soft toy animal characters especially created for the show which the children can play with afterwards. Then there’s the joy of watching a young audience – 2 to 8 year olds – enthralled by a good story. There’s nothing like it.
What is your secret to surviving the intense, fast pace of the fringe?
Knowing intimately the alleys and passageways of Edinburgh so you can avoid the overcrowded streets. Frequent visits to the Botanical Gardens.
What are the future plans for your show?
To have a similar national tour to the one we are having with Pitschi and to take Oskar and Pitschi to New Zealand – a country I have always wanted to visit.
What is the best production you have seen this year – can be any genre, style, in any theatre or performance space?
For the Birds at the Brighton Fringe Festival.
Is there anything else you want to highlight about your show/ theatre company/ production?
We are not only premiering Oskar the play on the Fringe this year but just around the corner at Blackwell’s Bookshop we are launching Oskar the picture book. And what is very different about the play and the book is that they were produced in one creative process with the illustrations and the storyline of the book changing as the play developed in rehearsal, and vice versa.
Writer/ Director: Colin Granger
Producer: Theatre Fideri Fidera
Design: Marina Kobler
Cast: Natasha Granger
Image courtesy of Lisa Smith
Oskar’s Amazing Adventure plays the Gilded Balloon as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 until 27 August 2017. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.