Monday, 7 May 2012

Jesting and Juggling in Confined Spaces

Newly arrived in town is the Jester of Buckingham - but he found time to answer some questions. He also agreed to turn out for Fringe Sunday so catch him at the Pauper's Pit on 10, 11 or 14 July or in the Pavilion Gardens also on the 11th.

1] I gather that this is your first visit to Buxton – what have you heard or what are you expecting?   
I have heard that it is a great community atmosphere amongst audience and acts and that everyone has a fantastic time. I am really looking forward to it.
2] You've been on Blue Peter, Graham Norton show – any bits of showbiz gossip you can share?  
Alas, my dealing with each show were quite limited. Graham Norton is much less irritating in the flesh than he appears on the TV!
3] The Pauper’s Pit has quite a low ceiling – will you be juggling on your knees?
I stand 6'3" in my bare feet and part of my act is a balance box which is a foot or so high. It could make for some potential comedy or danger! Either way I will manage! (At least it is higher than the Barrel Room which is where I was supposed to be!)
4] Jester of Buckingham – what should we infer about Buckingham (or jesters)?
Buckingham is a picturesque rural town (somewhat of an oxymoron) that was wrongly robbed of it's "County Town" status by the sprawling industrial mass that is Aylesbury. We Buckingham folk feel that Buckinghamshire deserves a county town that shares the name, the history is generally a nicer place. We have a fantastic Christmas Parade each year that I lead along with the Town Crier, Mace Bearer and Mayor.
5] This looks like quite an old-fashioned sort of a show (we mean this in the nicest possible way) – do you see yourself as someone trying to keep traditional forms of entertainment alive? If so, why? What is it about ‘jestering’ that makes it worth preserving?
It certainly has it's roots in the traditional entertainment art and the show is themed to that effect, however there is definitely a tip of the hat to the modern forms of entertainment. I think that Jesters are a quintessentially English tradition and the spirit of play and fun that is associated with them deserves to be kept alive. I think if everyone tapped into their inner jester once in a while the world would be a less tense and more happy place - April Fools Day would be a perfect chance, people just don't make enough of the pranks etc these days.
6] Any advice to anyone sitting in the front row of the audience?
Sitting in the front row is pretty brave, if you don't like audience interaction then I suggest sitting further back. I do use a lot of assistants from the audience and try and get the audience, as a whole, involved in some way or another.

by Keith Savage - Published 09/09/2010

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