To conclude this January’s Ferment Fortnight Anna Freeman and Chris Redmond collaborate to bring us a comedy jam packed full of musical whit. We caught up with Anna to find out exactly why everyone needs music when Hunting Pigs.
What is the show about?
It’s a comedy about music, and the way music affects us all. It’s also about who we want to be vs who we are, and coming to terms with our own limitations.
Describe the show in three words.
Very, very silly
How, when and why did the company make the decision to tackle this story?
After Anna came and did Tongue Fu for the first time about 18 months ago, we decided to write something together. We developed creative crushes on each other’s brains, probably because we’re so different; one of us grew up surrounded by music, the other without. We’ve looked at the music, we’ve loved throughout our lives, where it has helped us or tripped us up. As you should with all pain and awkwardness, we’ve shamelessly exploited it for comedy. We’ve thought about making it accessible and fun for everyone – you don’t need to know anything about music to enjoy the Pig.
How did you approach the events in the rehearsal room?
We kind of sidled up to them at first. They were a bit stand-off-ish at first but after a few drinks, they soon came around.
What does the story of Hunting Pigs mean to you?
There’s a moment in any good gig when the drummer is allowed to let loose on the kit. We call that moment ‘letting the pig out’ and if it’s good…it can lift everyone in that room, put a bit of fire in their bellies. We’re hunting those moments in all areas of life.
What part of the show has been the biggest challenge to direct/devise?
Well, the dance routine was a challenge…
What has been your favourite part of this process?
The breaks have been fabulous. Bristol Old Vic cafe does some of the best flapjacks this side of Stokes Croft. Aside from that, working with the band is always ridiculously exciting.
Tell us about the music of Hunting Pigs.
Oh, but that would be telling too much... Suffice it to say that the musicians are very clever boys. Their other projects include Nostalgia 77, The Puppini Sisters and Jamie Cullum. And they have lovely faces.
What’s next for you and the company?
Immediately next is pizza and cheap beer in the park. After that, I don’t know… what’s on telly? We’re also planning a tour in the Autumn, as a double header of Hunting Pigs and Tongue Fu. Hunting Pigs is the first show to be written and devised by the Tongue Fu crew. We hope it will be the first of many of cross art form collaborations – Tongue Fu works with spoken word artists, comedians, designers and story-tellers. We’ll be looking to see what other kinds of pig we can find.
You can catch the final installment of our Ferment Fortnight, Hunting Pigs, with Anna Freeman and Chris Redmond on Fri 31 Jan, 9.30pm at Bristol Old Vic. Photography by Bohdan Piasecki