To get you in the mood for Bristol Proms, our friends over at Tobacco Factory Theatres caught up with the wonderful Ray Scannell ahead of his performance next Saturday night. Mimic will play in the Studio at 6pm – forming part of the theatrical closing night of Bristol Proms… Here’s what they had to say:
Tobacco Factory Theatres co-produced Mimic on a tour of Ireland in 2008. We’re absolutely delighted to bring this incredible piece to Bristol and for it to be performed as part of the Bristol Proms at Bristol Old Vic (Sat 02 August, 6pm). We chatted to Ray Scannell (previously Infinite Lives at Tobacco Factory Theatres) on writing, performing and composing for Mimic:
Can you tell us more about what audiences can expect from Mimic – are we seeing a play with music? A concert with a narrative? How will you tell the story of Julian Neary?
Mimic is a bleakly humorous story about a nation in flux, and a character adapting within that change. The show plays out like a monologue accompanied by a silent movie pianist. The musical accompaniment acts as a device in itself, commenting on the action and colouring the scenery in a very dynamic and live way. The relevance of the piano to our main character becoming apparent as the story unfolds.
Mimic is all you: you’ve written, composed and will perform it. Can you tell us a bit more about your background as a performer, writer and composer?
I have always worked in a freelance capacity as an actor, writer and musician/sound designer… Mimic came at a time when I was contemplating concentrating my artistic practice into one of these strands… the idea was to throw all strings of the bow at the show to see which one came out the strongest, and which of them would fall away. Unfortunately, (maybe fortunately ;)) I found that juggling all three became a singular and satisfactory way of working. So much so that I now make work which ideally threads all three areas.
Mimic is a fascinating story which will take audiences on a journey from 1980s Ireland to beyond – can you tell us why this story will resonate with Bristol audiences?
As with any story, Mimic at it’s heart has universal concerns. Bristol and the UK have not been short of their own financial trajectories in the last 15-20 years… Mimic is about an Irish guy trying to adopt British and American ways to fit in to the ideal of a citizen of the ‘Western World’, rejecting his own identity… also Julian, our main character’s story, stems from a family dilemma which expands into national and then a global story. Everyone has a family, everyone is from somewhere, so anyone is going to be able to relate to this story… and the show has reached audiences in New York, Paris and Cork alike.
Describe Mimic in five words.
A dark, funny, musical monologue.