FUSE Festival 2019: Interview with Palomar Theatre

Photo: @david.griffiths

Over the next couple of days we will be be catching up with some of the participants of this year's FUSE Festival and finding out a bit more about them and their work!

We caught up with Palomar Theatre - who will be performing their new work-in-progress 'Isle of Apples'...

1. In 3 words describe your theatre company:

Liberating. Loud. Loving.

2. How did you meet?

We met whilst studying at university. Kind of. Well Ellie and Annie actually became friends waitressing together. Katie and Ellie met acting opposite each other in lots of plays. Gabi actually went to a different uni… but it all happened around-about the same time!

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

Our incredible producer Gabi told us about this painting called the Lady Lilith:

When we looked into it we found all this DRAMA around the models who posed for it. It sounded like a great basis for a show. We want to look at this idea of how feeling powerless can become a vicious cycle for women as we are always portrayed as such historically. These models were the perfect way of exploring those ideas.

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

As a company we brainstorm ideas about themes we are interested in, things that are happening in the world, things we have noticed in our lives. Then we connect the dots and explore how we could make a show out of these things. We split into roles of writing, acting and directing. Text is then bandied about between the group with different people editing, adding and challenging what has been written. When the writer finishes a scene (or doesn’t know how to express something in words) she will simply write “movement sequence”. The rest is made in the rehearsal room.

5. What is your show about?

Four muses. Two models. One painting; The Lady Lilith.

Inside a swimming pool changing room, on the edge of Lake Avalon, four Victorian women meet.

Elizabeth. The Wife. The first love.

Jane. The Adulteress. The one who got away.

Fanny. The Mistress. The one with him till the end.

Alexa. The….? The…?

They have lived their lives modelling mythology: Ophelia, Guinevere, Godiva, Mary, Lilith… But will now share their own stories, whilst young Alexa desperately tries to figure out what hers is going to be. There will be fights. There will be laughter. There will be synchronized swimming…

Using Palomar’s signature style of new writing, striking visuals and effortless movement, Isle of Apples explores the lives of a group of Pre-Raphaelite muses to question why women have historically been prescribed the role of ‘victim’ in any given situation and if it’s within our power to change this.

6. Who should come see your show and why?

We were once told that our show would appeal to RashDash audiences. That was lush. But we think it can appeal to anyone who wants a laugh and a giggle followed by some deep thought on the world we find ourselves in today. We believe that anyone with a flare for female-led theatre, synchronised swimming or a little bit of history would love Isle of Apples. Why not have a punt on something different?

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

We’re all about building communities and broadening our horizons. When we saw the Shoebox’s callout for emerging artists, this was a perfect opportunity for us to experiment with a brand new show, connect with amazing other artists and make a cracking piece of new theatre.

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

Take what’s on the TV screen inside your mind, and make it into a reality. Run into the problems you will encounter head on. Keep growing and pass what you learn onto the people coming up behind you. We’re all in this together.

9. What do you hope to do next?

We’re developing Isle of Apples with all the bells whistles and knobs we can think of! This includes applying for tonnes of money, talking to art historians, getting a costume designer, talking to venues, and performing in Bristol, London all around the South West! Keep your eyes peeled for the future of this show, we have some big plans!

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

Check out our website www.palomartheatre.com OR social media - we love a tweet!

Twitter & Instagram: @Palomartheatre

Facebook: @TheatrePalomar.

Get tickets for 'Isle of Apples' at www.fusefestival.co.uk

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