Interview: Alirio Zavarce Talks About No Strings Attached’s Upcoming Fringe Production ‘Ignition Point’

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Adelaide’s multi-award-winning theatre company No Strings Attached, is set for a bumper 2019. After an incredibly successful tour to the True Colours Festival in Singapore last year, the company recently launched its new season, celebrating their 25th year, including the announcement of a major Fringe work.

Artistic director Alirio Zavarce took time out from rehearsals to chat to Glam.

Very exciting times! 25 years of the company, which is amazing. Some companies don’t last one production. So as a celebration what we wanted to do was to give an opportunity to all our participants to be in one production and to be Fringe artists.

Previously scooping many Fringe awards, the company this year is offering a chance for all artists to participate, with their show Ignition Point.

So it’s one show with three elements.

Our First Nation Workshop where we play with sounds that we know. The second piece is called Small Wondrous Little Things. So these are tiny moments that the artists can offer to an audience. We’ve been working with the amazing Emma Beech on that work.  The last piece is called Shipwreck. This came from all of the participants thinking “What if we were abandoned on an island. How quickly would society deteriorate? It’s quite funny…it’s kind of Love Boat Goes Wrong meets Castaway. It’s hilarious, it’s cheeky, it’s naughty, but the participants came up with all the ideas.

What Zavarce is hoping to do with Ignition Point is give audiences the chance to experience the way in which No Strings works: a methodology which has garnered interest around the world, and has become a major South Australian cultural export. Whilst in Singapore last year, many of the artists themselves helped to facilitate workshops.

Everything that we create is based on the voice, the abilities and the desires of the participants. So my role as a director is to frame the work rather than to dictate what it is. All the participants inform the work; the work is with them and about them.

Zavarce emphasizes working with what people CAN do rather than focussing on what they can’t do. He moves away from the standard playmaking paradigms.

For example, Ricky is a tremendous dancer but sometimes he can’t find the blocking.  So if I put something on the floor that he can follow, then he knows where to go and we can work the lights around him. And that’s a tiny visual cue that the audience doesn’t even notice. As a director I have to think how can I help you achieve what you want to achieve?

What I’m really excited about is giving an opportunity to everyone. I think we connect with the spirit of the Fringe: this is experimentation, it’s live, it’s been created in SA by all these amazing SA artists and we express diversity of all sorts: cultural, ability, gender.

If theatre is not relevant to us, then it’s a museum piece.

Interview by Tracey Korsten

For further information on Ignition Point and how to book tickets, click here

For further information on No Strings Attached, click here

Sat 16 & 23 of Feb 1:30pm

Fri 1 Mar 11:30am

60 minutes

Prices: $8.00-$35.00

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