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Interview with Chris Cresswell »
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vv-march_044.jpgThe secret of Voodoo Vaudeville’s success lies in my ability to use the best of people; to attract a varied team made up of seasoned performers and new talent; to mix musicians, improvisers, and dancers, inspire them with an idea and then let the magic happen.

The whole show relies on the talents and experience of the core performers, the commitment and enthusiasm of new performers and the willingness of the audience to embrace the chaos and get into the spirit of a shared adventure, the chaos is always interspersed with moments of rare beauty.

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I have been working in this way for nine years now and have assembled a fantastic team of artists who dip in and out of the shows. The joy is in our ambition, pushing ourselves to create bigger and bigger shows out of nothing.

It has taken me a long time to realise that my constant need to change the show is a positive force, something to celebrate and what makes the shows so special. Sometimes they fail and that’s good–it keeps us on our toes, challenges us. But the magic only happens in the creation of the show.

 

The wonderful moment when you put the whole thing together for the first time, usually on the day of performance and watch how the various elements come together to make a piece of magic.

liz.jpg “It is like watching a beautiful painting on ricepaper dissolve in the audience’s applause,” according to Mim King, artist, choreographer and Voodoo performer.

So the ethos of the show is that it is created in a finite amount of time, that we set ourselves a challenge and the work comes out of the limitations we impose upon ourselves: improvised vaudeville theatre, an event created out of thin air. It exists for one night only, comes together as the audience arrives, and like a sandcastle and disappears as if it never happened as the audience washes it away with their applause.img_0074.jpg

It is a new form of theatrical performance: a response to the needs of today, calling on the skills and techniques of traditional vaudeville and performance but subverting the essence of those traditions, which was to have a show that lasted and toured for years.

 

Chris Creswell, Master of Ceremonies, Voodoo Vaudeville