EDINBURGH 2019: THE DE NOVA SUPER Q&A
ALEX HUGHES is a film, television and theatre actor and veteran of Secret Cinema. Alongside fellow theatre, clown, film and movement aficionado Will Palmer he has crafted THE DE NOVA SUPER, a cinematic, visually compelling and emotionally challenging space odyssey. Alex chatted to BroadwayWorld ahead of performing the show at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Tell us a bit about The De Nova Super
The show is set aboard a lost spacecraft called The De Nova Super. The ship was originally built because the Earth is sick and only has so long to live. The two protagonists of the story rediscover that spacecraft. The near, but not distant future is a brilliant place to be creative and have a lot of fun with where humanity is headed. The De Nova Super represents a last chance for humanity to save itself, before we become entirely swallowed up by technology and lose sight of what it truly means to be human.
What was the inspiration behind it?
The show was inspired by many things, but initially by Will (Palmer) and I wanting to create something for ourselves, that combined both our skill sets. I come from a more dramatic, theatrical background and Will from a movement-based world, but we both get tickled by the same things. The starting point was science fiction movies like 2001 A Space Odyssey, Alien and Solaris. We had never seen clowning set in space, in the future. Space is a great place to explore being human. Where nobody can hear you scream.
Is music important to the show?
It is fundamental. The show is structured like an album with each scene having a piece of music or a soundscape. We use some LCD Sound System, amongst other things and work by our friend the composer Isobel-Waller Bridge. Isobel and I were sharing a flat together as the show was being conceived and written, and she gave me the confidence to see how far we could push not speaking and telling the story visually, physically and musically. Isobelle's music is spine-tinglingly beautiful.
Who would you recommend comes to see it?
Humans. Much of this show will resonate in many ways for people. They will take something away with them afterwards. All the feels.
What's next for the show after Edinburgh?
Aside from the outline for a follow up, which is even more elaborate and strange than this piece, we have a mission. Due to the show's minimal use of language (mostly using pre-recorded speech) it is universal, and we believe it is possible for us to translate and perform The De Nova Super in any language. We want to take it to Japan and perform it in Japanese as there is much of it that is inspired by Japanese theatre and cinema. Plus tears, laughter and suspense are understood throughout the world.
De Super Nova is at Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 31st July-26th August (not 12th or 19th).Tickets and more information: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/de-nova-super