An Interview with The Wrong Crowd, creators of Baba Yaga

Ahead of Ferment Fortnight we caught up with some of the artists about who they are, what they do and what they’ll be presenting. The first company we spoke to was The Wrong Crowd who open the Fortnight on Wed 23 Jan with Baba Yaga.

Briefly describe for us what your show is about?
It’s about how sometimes the darkest and most difficult things in your life can be the greatest teachers, if you are really willing to face them. We’re retelling one of the most powerful stories about the Slavic hag-witch character, Baba Yaga and a young woman who dares to encounter her.

Is it similar to what you’ve done previously or are you trying something new?
We’re continuing to mine the seam of dark fairytale material and fusing live action, puppetry and music, but we’re exploring something new in the way we are telling the story and being more radical in our re-imagining of it.

Describe it for us in three words.
Fierce, tender and unexpected.

How will it make people feel? / What do you want it to make people think about?
Inspired and imaginatively kindled. We’re really interested in how those stories can be used as tools in our own lives, so we hope people might reflect on what the story speaks to in their own experience. And a little reappraisal of hags – they’ve had a pretty bad press.

What stage will it be at in its development when we see it in January?
A very early stage – we’ll be showing a couple of segments of ideas for the show and it’s incredibly useful to see it in front of an audience at an early stage like this.

What elements in particular are you looking forward to testing it out on Ferment audiences?
Baba Yaga is played by a puppet and is our slightly crazed hostess, MC and narrator. We’re really interested to see how an audience react to her and how she reacts to an audience!

What are your personal highlights of January’s Ferment Fortnight?
It’s such a fabulous opportunity to see lots of interesting new work at a fledgling stage, where shows are dipping their toes in the water and seeing what the temperature is! We’re keen to get an early taste of The Breadhorse, before it heads into the studio and prize for most amazing title has to go to Just Because I Have a Launderette in my Thigh Doesn’t Mean I’m Milkshake Wednesday, which sounds deeply intriguing.

The Wrong Crowd will be performing Baba Yaga at Bristol Old Vic on Wed 23 Jan at 6:30pm.

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