Gemma talks to Danny Braverman, writer and performer of Wot? No Fish!! about the creation and inspiration behind the show.
Wot? No Fish!! A true story of love, art, history and fish balls? Can
you tell us where the name came from? And what was the inspiration behind it?
The show came from a discovery I made from an incredible piece of art by my Great Uncle Ab. He did an extraordinary thing of drawing a picture every week on the back of his wage packet that he gave to his wife for housekeeping and he kept on doing this for his all of his married life.
I barely knew Uncle Ab but when his son died, my mum cleared out his flat and we found a treasure trove of all these pictures, I took them away and look through all the pictures and one of these pictured was titled with Wot? No Fish!!.
I discovered things about my family and myself in the drawings that I didn’t know about.
In the show I tell the story of how A: Uncle Ab was a wonderful artists, B: Stories about my own family and C: some things about myself.
So what made you want to put on a show that is so personal to you, to be performed in front of a live audience?
The creation of the show is interesting, I hadn’t performed for many years and I wanted to get back into doing something creative. And with these pictures, I thought I wanted to use them as resource for my next show. In july I took these pictures and did a scratch performance and told the story of my family, I asked my friends and audience members what I should do with this story and they said that I should turn it into a show. Nick Philippou was a dear friend of mine and a director and collaborator of the show, in the audience. So in some senses the show is collaboration between three artists, it is me as the writer, performer and story teller, its Ab as the artist and Nick as the director. He had a lot of great ideas as to how we could make the show and put it together and turn it into the piece that it is today.
The play focuses on a relationship that is based upon drawings on wage packets, now in the modern era of technology; do you think we are losing the true meaning of conversation and the way people communicate with each other and document their lives?
I think the way people express themselves change and as media changes through time we finds different ways to express things. People always tell stories, telling stories are what it is to be human in a lot of ways.
In Ab’s time- with paper and drawing, I think a lot of people used that as a medium of conversation and now I think that art is lost. I call Abs’ work art, a lot of people may call it cartoon but in some way that is denigrating things.
I wonder if people will do a show about their tweets and people Facebook updates, as they are not without art. A tweet is something you have to do within 140 characters; there is an art- like a Haikou, a poem. Some tweets are good and some tweets are bad, like good art and bad art.
I like the new media for and I hope it plays to its strengths rather than its weaknesses.
Wot? No Fish!! is on 2nd October at Liddiard Theatre, Polam School.Danny Braverman is also leading a Masterclass for Teachers and Lecturers on Saturday 3rd October, 9.30-12.30.