Adam Scott-Rowley’s darkly comic one-man show This Is Not Culturally Significant. transfers to The Bunker after previous incarnations at the Vaults and Etcetera Theatres and a major mis-scheduling mishap at the Edinburgh Fringe…
Stoned, pissed and surrounded by friends all competing to portray the most outrageous caricature character choices we could, whilst remaining truthful. That was how most evenings were spent after a twelve hour day at drama school and that was the cesspit of creativity where This Is Not Culturally Significant. was birthed.
From a crack-smoking homeless Glaswegian Woman, to a mendacious Spiritualist Lecturer, to a despondent American Porn Star, to a throat cancer riddled West End Producer. Sometimes the goal was to switch between the characters at break-neck speed, other times it was to morph slowly and painfully with a hiatus of uncomfortable confusion; not knowing who was going to lurch into the limelight next.
After a few years of this silly-buggery, it became evident that these characters not only all lived in the same world but needed a platform to display themselves to the rest of society. And so, the first formation of This Is Not Culturally Significant. arrived at the Etcetera Theatre in Camden, London. This version of the show was only 25 minutes long; serving short explosive snippets of the characters – some would have linear trajectories whilst others might not say anything and only be visible for a few seconds. The show was a success – in so much as only a few people walked out and some people laughed for some of the time.
The next stop was the Edinburgh Fringe festival and the show became 45 minutes, with deeper character developments and a clearer message. I was on at 3:30pm at a family-friendly venue. For those of you who have seen the show, you will understand how utterly inappropriate this was. Walk-outs became more regular than walk-ins and I developed a drinking problem. Luckily, Jamie Eastlake from Theatre N16 saw the show and his keenness to come on board as a co-producer eased the heavy blow of the fringe.
For the show’s next incarnation at London’s VAULT Festival, I wanted to bring an added sense of vulnerability to the characters as well as the performance as a whole. Doing it completely naked, I felt, would be the best option. There were initial concerns that the nudity would be a bit gimmicky but comments from audiences reassured me that after a few minutes, they forgot that they were watching a naked actor and that the nudity was quickly justified. Only one walk-out, quite a few walk-ins and an extra show added. So, something had developed in the right direction!
Now we transfer the show to The Bunker Theatre, London. I am very excited to see how the show will be received. It is a decent-sized space, yet still very intimate – which is vital for the show. It will be the longest run of the show I have done since the horrors of the Edinburgh fringe last year so I am curious to discover how the show will develop each night and take on different forms depending on audience reaction.
This Is Not Culturally Significant. runs at London’s Bunker Theatre from 15 May to 3 June 2017. Follow @MyTheatreMates on Twitter for details on our competition to win a pair of tickets to the show.