BWW Interviews: Martyn Jacques prior to THE TIGER LILLIES: RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER at The Southbank Centre, 5 to 8 September
One of my three top shows of 2012 was The Tiger Lillies Perform Hamlet, an extraordinary assault on the senses by music, dance, drama, spectacle and, most of all, voice. At the centre of an unforgettable production, Martyn Jacques stalked the stage, his falsetto crackling in the air, as the action moved around him. He's back with his fellow Tiger Lillies and American video artist Mark Holthusen at the Southbank Centre from 5 to 8 September, this time taking on Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Knowing that he can only expect the unexpected with the Lillies in town, Gary Naylor spoke to Martyn Jacques.
Why The Rime of the Ancient Mariner?
We've always sung songs about sailors and we did an album called The Sea about 10 years ago. So The Rime of The Ancient Mariner was always something I thought about doing. We like singing songs about itinerate outsiders - circus people, whores, gypsies; people who don't fit. They are colourful and extreme subjects to write about
How do you balance the wide range of media in a production - in other words, where should the audience look?
I think people look at the film primarily, and the band are a bit ghost like. I'm not an expert though, as I've never seen the show!
Do you get different reactions to your shows in different countries or even different cities?
The main difference is if English is a first or second language. If it's first they listen to the words more, if it's second they listen more to the music.
Is it a good or bad thing to be so often labelled as having "a cult following"?
It's inevitable. I would love to be mainstream, but I'm not going to compromise. Mainstream - I'm waiting for you!
Have you ever been tempted to take off the make-up and do a take on a Rodgers and Hammerstein or, dare I say it, Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical?
Why? There are all these people doing it already. Do we need another one? No.
What's next for The Tiger Lillies?
We're recording a new album at the moment. I think it has the potential to be as dark and disturbingly beautiful as anything we've ever done! I'm keeping my fingers crossed it works out.
For a glimpse of what audiences might expect, please click here.