Confetti & Chaos: going tits up down under

Two weeks of rehearsals, two debut actors, and now two performances down: Confetti & Chaos’s first tour of Australia has begun!

The show is a revitalisation, a re-imagination, a reinvigoration – just about every re- you can come up with – of The Wedding Reception, a 5-star smash hit which opened in the UK a number of years ago, before touring the world (including a few weeks in Australia back in 2017 – you can read more about that here).

However, for this arrival of matrimonial mayhem in Australia, we decided to do something differently. We’ve brought in two Australian actors to pair with two English actors, creating your perfect melange of Aussie-Brit wedding wit.

 

Otis Waby and Nerine Skinner flew over from the UK at the start of June, and joined Nicholas Richard and Monique Lewis-Reynolds in Brisbane, for the first time ever, to get creative under the direction of Interactive Theatre International’s Artistic Director, Alison Pollard-Mansergh. With just two weeks of rehearsing before a solid two weeks of touring, we quickly caught up with the team after their opening night at Bribie Island Bowls Club…

 

 

Nicholas and Monique – two weeks ago your only experience of Confetti & Chaos was a bunch of emails, how would you summarise the show now!?

 

NR: If you think of any wedding reception you’ve been too, there’s bound to be an iffy moment – the best man says something inappropriate, or the father of the bride says something that’s just plain wrong. If you put all of those moments together – and we’ve all been there – then you get our wedding reception, and that’s what we’ve invited all of Queensland and New South Wales too!

 

MLR: Absolutely – we all know those weddings where something outrageous happens or something embarrassing happens – often something outrageously embarrassing – and that is what this is all about; the utter humour and calamity that happens when you throw people together from two different families who probably wouldn’t/shouldn’t mix under normal circumstances.

 

 

How do you all approach the interactive element of the show?

 

OW: It’s a nice experience for punters who are new to interactive theatre – everyone’s free to interact as much as they please. The concept is that everyone is a character – all guests to the show play the part of a wedding guest. People choose to be certain members of family, somebody who has made the cake etc. They can choose to interact as much as they want, but they all form part of the experience. It’s fundamentally an interactive, immersive dining experience – so quite different to your usual stage show. I mean, there is no stage! The stage is around the tables that the guests are seated at.

 

NS: We all know that you have to judge the crowd, to see who’s willing to be part of it, and that’s part of the act. We are always very aware that if someone looks uncertain about involvement, we’ll leave them to sit back and eat their dinner and laugh at the expense of others! It is a completely immersive experience in the sense that it is set up just like a wedding reception.

MLR: Usually the people who have got their head halfway under the table while looking incredibly uncomfortable with every glance in their general direction, we do leave alone – but there’s something in the show for everyone to enjoy (they’re often the loudest laughers)!

 

 

By the nature of interacting with audiences, there must be a certain level of improvisation too?

 

OW: Absolutely – the show is semi-improvised, so the audience might drop us a lead and we sort of run with it.

 

MLR: It all depends on what comes from the audience members – sometimes people can have quite crazy reactions to the show, and their comments, or even just their laughter, will prompt us to respond in different ways and that can send us in quite a different direction. There are a lot of quite outrageous things that happen in the show that will definitely get some fairly peculiar responses from audience members…

You just never know what those reactions will be and that will give us a lot of scope to have plenty more giggles along the way. That is really improvising at its true height. As actors we simply just do not know what’s going to come out of an audience member’s mouth and how you might respond to it at the time.

 

 

You all have multiple roles during the show – what effect does that have on audiences?

 

NS: It’s difficult for us as actors – especially when you’re playing different characters that have not only different accents, but varying ages too. The mutli-roling does add to the farce – there’s a lot of ‘I’ll just double check that I’m in the right costume for the next section’! It’s worth it for the audience’s reaction – when that new character has yet to be introduced enters for the first time, there’s palpable excitement in the room: ‘Are you definitely that actor I just saw?’ That confusion only adds to the comedy!

 

The team still have a score of performances over the next week or two – you can catch the comedic carnage at:

20 June: Caloundra Power Boat Club

21 June: Brisbane Golf Club

27 June: Goulburn Workers Club

28 June: Mittagong RSL

29 June: Dee Why RSL

 

For any further information, and for ticket info, head to www.confetti-chaos.com

 

*interview responses courtesy of Nerine Skinner, Otis Waby, Nicholas Richard and Monique Lewis-Reynolds in conversation with Goulburn Post, Sunshine FM, 2GN and 2ST.

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