Terri Paddock's post-show Q&A for Arrows & Traps' Chaplin: Birth of a Tramp at London's Brockley Jack Theatre

WATCH Chaplin’s post-show Q&A: Why is being funny such a sad business?

In Features, Interviews, London theatre, Native, Opinion, Photos, Plays, Quotes, Special Events, Ticket recommendations, Touring, Video by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

Have you ever seen Charlie Chaplin’s classic film The Great Dictator? Eighty years after it was released, it feels terrifyingly current. We get a glimpse of why with the inclusion of its final speech in Arrows & Traps’ latest offering.

In Chaplin: Birth of a Tramp, writer and director Ross McGregor tells a compelling story of not just how Charlie Chaplin found his voice physically, moving from Hollywood’s silent film era to the talkies, but politically as well, culminating with The Great Dictator‘s anti-fascism call to arms.

What a sad business, being funny – Limelight (1952)

The play is also an amazing rags-to-riches story, a touching family portrait, an examination of the creative process and the duality of laughter and pathos. And it’s beautifully rendered by the ensemble of six, with Conor Moss and Lucy Ioannou often mirroring one another as, respectively, the adult narrator Chaplin and the mute, all-seeing child who morphs into his iconic comic creation “The Little Tramp”.

They’re joined by Clare Aster, Toby Wynn-Davies, Benjamin Garrison and Laurel Marks as other family members and film figures, all of whom participate in a series of pop-infused clowning sequences that knit together jumps in time.

I was joined by Ross McGregor and the company to discuss the production with an audience full of many Chaplin aficionados and Arrows & Traps fans for a lively discussion about Charlie Chaplin and his family, the nature of comedy and tragedy, the rigours of clowning and more.

Watch the full Q&A below. And check out the speech from The Great Dictator too. It will give you shivers.

Chaplin: Birth of a Tramp continues at London’s Brockley Jack Theatre until 22 February 2020, before touring from 10 April to 17 June.

Q&A video

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Terri Paddock
Terri Paddock runs the Terri Paddock Group, which provides content and social media marketing services for theatre clients across channels including MyTheatreMates.com, StageFaves.com, Stage Talk and TerriPaddock.com. Previously,
Terri Paddock founded WhatsOnStage.com and the WhatsOnStage Awards, running the company and its events from 1996 to 2013. Terri is also the author of two novels, Come Clean and Beware the Dwarfs, and has previously written for the Evening Standard, Independent, The Times and other national publications. She is renowed for her 'legendary' post-show Q&As and also produces the annual Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and acts as a digital, content strategy and event consultant for theatre, producers and other clients. She tweets about theatre at @TerriPaddock.
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Terri Paddock on FacebookTerri Paddock on InstagramTerri Paddock on LinkedinTerri Paddock on TwitterTerri Paddock on Youtube
Terri Paddock
Terri Paddock runs the Terri Paddock Group, which provides content and social media marketing services for theatre clients across channels including MyTheatreMates.com, StageFaves.com, Stage Talk and TerriPaddock.com. Previously,
Terri Paddock founded WhatsOnStage.com and the WhatsOnStage Awards, running the company and its events from 1996 to 2013. Terri is also the author of two novels, Come Clean and Beware the Dwarfs, and has previously written for the Evening Standard, Independent, The Times and other national publications. She is renowed for her 'legendary' post-show Q&As and also produces the annual Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and acts as a digital, content strategy and event consultant for theatre, producers and other clients. She tweets about theatre at @TerriPaddock.

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