What IS Derailed?? We are about to start the next stage of development for our latest show Derailed and we want to share our process with you.
*Please note that there are a few spoiler alerts.
Interview by Andrea Holland
What was your main inspiration for developing “Derailed”?
Patricia: Creativity comes from the most random places. Sometimes you start with an idea, in this case, it was the derailment of the train in Santiago (2013). Then, when you verbalize that idea, you actually realise there might be other things that are more appealing, more attractive and more engaging. Then you ‘derail’ (excuse the pun) into different ideas. That was the starting point, then the better idea comes through which was inspired by that initial idea and so on.
Merce: So in our case the starting point was the accident. And and then we started asking ourselves: who was responsible? Was it just the driver? Was it the government for not putting safety measures in place? And it got us thinking, OK, this isn’t as simple, this has got more to it than we anticipated. It’s about citizens, the government and their relationship. Then conversations about activism arose, about how can we, as individuals, hold our governments accountable. And do WE actually have enough power? What are our tools for doing that? And we started to look at our own lives to share our hopes, desires and feelings about a better world.
Why did you choose to make it autobiographical?
Merce: Because we wanted to talk about a really big topic “changing the world”. And the only way you can really tackle this is by going into detail, by looking around you, thinking how am I, in a world of millions, contributing to making it better? And, can my little actions have such an effect that they will eventually work towards positive change?
Patricia: Also because we like to think of making it engaging, attractive for the audience. And after many hours of talking about it and improvising on it, our final conclusion for this particular process was that actually our own stories were the most exciting to tackle the topic. We can talk of activism better from our own experiences, if not, it becomes too broad, too distant.
Merce: there is someone that at some point becomes big and relevant and people follow them. But the real changes have to be powered by normal people in order to succeed.
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
Merce: I would abolish capitalism in terms of politics. And then in terms of values I would make people feel what everyone else is feeling, because some people are not really good at empathising, maybe that way they would be aware of what they are doing…
Patricia: From the world I would change the lack of equality, the lack of equal opportunities. I’d like a world where it didn’t matter as much WHERE you are born, who are your parents…To be able to give everyone the same terms, to dream or to be whatever they want to be. To be able to think more of US as TOGETHER, rather than me me me me me me!
How do you think the current international events have changed the show?
Patricia: Well one of the key ones has to be Brexit. You can’t escape the fact that we are a theatre company based in England run by two Spaniards who to the day of today don’t know what is going to happen with their company in a few months. And since it is such an autobiographical event we totally have to talk about it. When we previewed the show in April 2016 the vote hadn’t happened yet . And that is massive! We talk a lot about current events.
Merce: Yeah, and it would be like the elephant in the room if we kind of ignored it and say, OK, this is a show about changing the world but which world? It’s the world we live in, and it needs to be about politics, about activism. So yes, it has to be an essential part of it.
What is your favourite part of the show? *SPOILER ALERT!
Merce: That’s got to be the fight, like a proper full on “lucha libre” fight between two characters. That for me is a tribute to my teen years watching Hulk Hogan wrestling with my brother on a Sunday morning.
Patricia: Calling my dad live on skype is my favourite moment.
Could you share with us an anecdote of the show (process, rehearsals, performances)?*SPOILER ALERT!
Patricia: For me it has to be the moment when my dad flirted a bit with a member of the audience live on stage (giggles). Yeah, so we had to tell him off a little bit.
Merce: Yeah, that was really good! (Laughs). Humm don’t know…I think the fact that we met John-Paul Flintoff. We met him an afternoon when we went up north with Patricia’s son. The three of us were in a little café. He has a book called “How to Change the World”, and he basically had no idea why he was there.
How did you come up with the idea of a live band on stage?
Patricia: The idea of the band on stage comes directly from the idea of wanting to make a show that contains a lot of rock And roll, punk, highly energetic music. So it made sense because it wouldn’t be nice to have pre-recorded music, we preferred to play it live and make it a very active storyteller. In fact, we use music in many different ways. We use it to give atmosphere, as a dialogue piece, we use it to talk through the show… And one of the things that interested us the most was linked to the idea that anything is possible. This is directly linked with the fact that nor Merce or I actually play musical instruments and we wanted to, so we threw ourselves into it.
So was it difficult, learning how to play different instruments?
Patricia: Yes, it’s difficult. But it’s possible and that is the whole point of the show: “it’s difficult, but it’s possible.”
Is this your last tour in the UK?
Patricia: Yes, yes it is. So you have to come to see it because it is going to be historical.
Merce: Yes, we are going to Spain after this. We will stop doing theatre…
Patricia: There is going to be a before and after. Our mission is to reinvent theatre, so no pressure…