INTRODUCING: GREG MCLAREN’S ‘ATOMKRAFT’

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Briefly describe for us what your show is about?
Roddy Magnox, Australia’s richest man wants to build a nuclear power station in the middle of Bristol. He’s holding a ‘consultation’ with the public. On the panel are possibly-real nuclear experts, it’s hard to tell who’s who though because there seems to be two of each one. Roddy wants to know how you’re going to stop him.

Is it similar to what you’ve done previously or are you trying something new?
It’s a combination of techniques I’ve used before – 1. presenting ‘real’ people on stage, and 2. Using an Event Score – In this case the audience get a press pack as they enter and must ask questions based on that (or whatever comes into their mind) in order for anything to happen

Describe it for us in three words.
Active, potentially disastrous.

How will it make people feel? / What do you want it to make people think about?
Part of the experiment is to find out how the audience feel during the performance/press conference… what it’s like to take responsibility for action, and what they actually do.
Aside from weeping at the horror of corruption and abuse in the global power market, I hope that the audience will be galvanised into asking more questions of themselves and the world around them, to act a bit differently, maybe think about history in a different way.

What stage will it be at in its development when we see it in July?
What will happen will be finished and could not happen in any other way. But the full theatre show won’t be ready until next year. This is a section of it and a format we’ll use to discuss the issues with the public in other places where there are nuclear power stations.

What elements in particular are you looking forward to testing out on Ferment audiences?
I really love the press conference format, it invites intervention, really unexpected things can happen so we’ll see how far the Ferment audience want to take things. I’m also looking forward to trying out this idea I have about the double on stage: A real nuclear expert alongside a performer who looks almost exactly like them. I suppose the audience will have to figure out who’s who. Like proton and neutron pairs in a Uranium atom – they want to get out of there to restore balance, but in leaving they have to change. That atomic stuff is so inherently dramatic!  

What are your personal highlights of July’s Ferment Fortnight?
Wardrobes, Eels, Tommy, and everyone else that I’ve never seen or met, that’s the best thing about this festi-fortnight.

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