EDINBURGH 2019: BEEP BOOP Q&A
Ahead of bringing his darkly comic clown show, Beep Boop, to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, physical comedian and clown, Richard Saudek, answers five questions for BroadwayWorld.
Tell us a bit about Beep Boop.
Beep Boop is a show about the increasing isolation of one odd character as he bumbles through a life that is deeply influenced by the digital world. It is a multimedia clown show carelessly crafted to be both meaningful and meaningless. It is a simple, goofy show with a protagonist that is a true oddball but perhaps he resonates and speaks to all of us within this digitally-charged modern era.
What was the inspiration behind the show?
My inspiration comes from a childhood fascination with silent comedy. Specifically, things like Chaplin getting stuck in the gears of industry in Modern Times, Jacques Tati grappling with a modern kitchen in Mon Oncle, Mr. Bean's lonesome existence with his teddy bear...all of these were probably unconscious inspirations. You could say that I've extricated these ideas as the character gets physically tossed around by the digital world and is often left clutching to his devices (digital and otherwise). The world of the clown is such an impulsive, primal one that when he finds himself in a world overcome with modernity we can learn and laugh a lot as we watch him struggle. That's how I wanted to approach this age of the digital persona and the unique isolation that comes along with it.
How is the story told?
It's told with live foley accompaniment and fast-paced movement with very little spoken language, as well as with a lot of multi-media, visual gags, original music and mime. Plus, a lot of goofy facial expressions and downright alarming physicality.
Who would you recommend comes to see it?
The good thing about a clown show is that there is simplicity in the humour which allows it to be enjoyed and appreciated by a wide-ranging audience. There's no language barrier (since there's little to no spoken word). The humour is dependent on a lot of visual gags with fast pacing, so kids like it. The themes should be relevant to anybody who finds themselves a bit overwhelmed in our tech-obsessed world; and when I look around, that seems like everybody!
What's next for the show after the festival?
We shall see! I'd love for as many people to see it as possible. It's an opportunity for audiences to put down their phones for an hour and watch someone else pick up his-- and to perhaps spend some time laughing at ourselves as a result. So wherever people are being overcome with technological onslaught, that's where I want to be performing this show!
Beep Boop runs from the 1st - 25th August at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (not 12th or 19th). For tickets and more information: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/beep-boop