FUSE Festival: Interview with Rhys Denton

Over the next few weeks we will be be catching up with the participants of FUSE Festival and finding out a bit more about them and their work! First on the hot-seat is Rhys Denton - who will be performing his new work-in-progress 'Sex, Violence & Insanity'...

Q1. In 3 words describe yourself

Silly, straightforward, honest

Q2. What led you to create theatre?

I started creating theatre as an actor. It was sort of an antithesis to the burnout I suffered training to be a doctor. It was a cathartic experience and I've continued to use it as a method of expression ever since.

Q3. What was your inspiration for creating this piece of theatre?

I guess more of the above! It's honestly a bit of a hard-to-tackle subject and something very personal to me. For me, it's a way to open up conversations about something that doesn't get talked about all that freely - in what I hope will be a funny sort of way.

Q4. Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?

I tend to start with a strong image or idea - normally, it's a visual that I want to take front-and-centre as most of my work is film-based. I then figure out how this relates to the end of the piece I'm working on and work backwards. The working backwards might involve pages and pages of freewriting, experimenting with different sounds, words and visuals or going out and filming stuff until I have a clearer idea of where I want to go with the project. I try to amp up the starting pieces through my re-working stages so they don't get lost until I have something stageable!

Q5. What is your show about?

My show is about sex and male attitudes to it - specifically, looking at difficult experiences and how men are made to resolve them in a certain way. I'm hoping to make it a fairly lighthearted piece despite the title - there's going to be dinosaurs!

Q6. Who should come see your show and why?

I think anybody interested in identity, modern dating, gender... Fairly universal issues. I think everyone who can see it, should because if we restrict the conversations I'm hoping to start to a select group of people, then we're missing the point of starting them in the first place.

Q7. What was it about FUSE that made you want to take part?

FUSE interested me because it forces me to make something and put it on straight away! I've got a bad habit of writing projects or coming up with concepts and not getting them out there for whatever reason - time, confidence, what-have-you. FUSE is forcing me to get out and do it and I really appreciate that.

Q8. Any words of wisdom for those considering creating their own theatre?

Seek out chances to put stuff on. If they're not readily available, go and make them - put on a scratch night in a pub with your friends, rent a workshop space for a day and play. Find people who get your vibe and jam with them, but also find people who you don't see eye-to-eye with so much and seek their work out too. Get experience wherever you can because you never know when it will come in handy too - staying in your bubble will restrict what you can create!

Q9. What do you hope to do next?

Next, I've got some applications out to film funds to help me make a science fiction short film next year. I also hope to take some shows I'm helping produce on to festivals and other venues in the next few months.

Q10. Where can people find out more about your work?

I'm really bad at keeping a record of what I have going on but Twitter is usually the best place to keep track of my stuff - @ItsMeRJD. I tend to Tweet more about everything I do from writing, performance, filming, photography etc... You can also find my production company on Facebook (if you're into that sort of thing), although as I work in schools that tends to be fairly quiet - www.facebook.com/YNMediaProd

'Sex, Violence & Insanity' will be performed at the Shoebox Theatre as part of FUSE Festival on Saturday 7th July at 7.30pm. Find out more at www.fusefestival.co.uk

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