Podcast: Feeling Donny Stixx’s rage with Philip Ridley, David Mercatali & Sean Michael Verey

In Audio, Features, Interviews, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Quotes, Special Events by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

What a treat to pay my first visit to London’s newest venue – The Bunker, carved out of a carpark beneath the Menier Chocolate Factory – to host this post-show Q&A for Tonight with Donny Stixx. I’m a little in awe of playwright Philip Ridley, whose myriad plays over the years have, in addition to Tonight with Donny Stixx, included Mercury Fur, Dark Vanilla Jungle, The Pitchfork Disney, Vincent River and The Fastest Clock in the Universe, which was the first play I ever saw at (the old, still in a portakabin) Hampstead Theatre.  At tonight’s event, Ridley was even funnier, friendlier and more fascinating than I expected. And he was happily aided and abetted by director David Mercatali and the one-man play’s star Sean Michael Verey, who are both die-hard Ridley champions. Tonight with Donny Stixx is the sixth Ridley play that Mercatali has helmed, and the third that he’s cast Verey in. It’s also the trio’s second go at this play: it was a hit at the Edinburgh Fringe and had a short run, as a companion piece with Ridley’s one-woman play Dark Vanilla Jungle (which starred Gemma Whelan), at Soho Theatre in 2015. It’s now being restaged at the Bunker care of Metal Rabbit Productions.

Aspiring magician Donny has committed an act that shocked everyone. Tabloids called him The Most Hated Boy Alive. But Donny doesn’t want forgiveness. All Donny wants is… his own television show.

What’s the secret to the team’s collaborative success? How rare are such happy collaborations in art and life? What are the challenges and rewards of a one-person show: performing, directing and writing? (Ridley’s latest play Karagula goes to the other extreme – with a cast of 100+!) How has Tonight with Donny Stixx changed (or rather how has our response to it changed – we all feel Donny’s rage now) since the ‘halcyon days’ of 2015? Are the magicians mentioned in the play real historic figures? And did you know: Philip Ridley himself designed the poster artwork…. what does it mean? Listen to the full, unedited podcast below for that and much more (post-truth playwriting, anyone?), plus video and live-tweeting from Metal Rabbit Productions’ Martha Rose Wilson. Q&A photos by Charlotte Ledger. Tonight with Donny Stixx continues at the Bunker Theatre until 3 December 2016. There are further post-show events on 23 and 24 November and 2 December. Check the website for details. Pre-show video I’m joined for #DonnyStixx pre-show & Q&A video by @metalrabbitprod‘s @martharosew & @BunkerTheatreUK AD @jmctaggart91. All the tricks… pic.twitter.com/rpXrYw2HaM — Terri Paddock (@TerriPaddock) November 17, 2016 Podcast [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/293557632" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /] Q&A photos Click to view slideshow. Show photos Live-tweeting Tonight with Donny Stixx – Curated tweets by MyTheatreMates
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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 renowned 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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