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BWW Interview: Travis Alabanza Talks THE RIDICULOUS DARKNESS at the Gate Theatre

BWW Interview: Travis Alabanza Talks THE RIDICULOUS DARKNESS at the Gate Theatre
Travis Alabanza

Travis Alabanza is a performance artist based in London. They are known for their solo show Burgerz and their LGBTQ+ rights activism.

Travis spoke to BroadwayWorld about their involvement in the upcoming production of The Ridiculous Darkness at the Gate Theatre.

Who inspired you growing up?

I am still growing up, so I'm not too sure how to answer that! I think I'm inspired by lots of people. It changes - definitely my mum, Prince, and Lisa Simpson.

What drew you to become a performer?

I think being on stage was a moment I could access power, control, confidence that I often could not have off[stage].

What is The Ridiculous Darkness about?

It's about journeys, narratives, who gets to tell them and question who believes them.

Why did you want to get involved in this project?

I think the script is really interesting, and I'm excited to be on stage with an all-black cast of incredible women. It's exciting to see the roles we take on.

Who's the character you'll be playing?

I play Olliver Pellner, although watching the cast go through the different roles with such pace and energy and focus is definitely amazing.

Why is it important this piece is performed?

I think it's important to have work in theatres questioning dominant narratives. Theatre has always been used as a place to provide counterpoints to the dominance of other stories.

BWW Interview: Travis Alabanza Talks THE RIDICULOUS DARKNESS at the Gate Theatre
Travis and the cast of The Ridiculous
in rehearsal

What other stories should be told on stage today?

I don't know if it's about prescribing what stories should be told. That suggests they aren't already being told.

Marginalised voices in theatre and performance have existed for years before it was trendy, it's just which stories get access to platform and visibility. I think it's about what stories we should be giving our resources to!

How well is the LGBTQ+ community represented in the UK theatre and art scene today? What can be done better?

I think it's about broadening what LGBTQ+ people can be in theatre - the characters we're allowed to portray, and how and who is writing them. It's widening what it means to have LGBTQ+ representation in a show, going beyond shallow representations, and also roles defined solely by that.

Any other upcoming projects you can tell us about?

I have a new piece of work opening at Sick of The Fringe, The Wellcome Collection in the first week of April, and Burgerz, my theatre show, will be back soon - so maybe come along to that if you want.

Why should people come to The Ridiculous Darkness?

I think you will have a laugh. And think a bit too.

The Ridiculous Darkness at the Gate Theatre 27 February to 23 March

Photo credit: Helen Murray

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