Rapsody.webp

Edinburgh Fringe 2022 
Interview

Oli Dunbar 
Rapsody

Recipient of Pleasance’s Charlie Hartill Theatre Reserve

Pleasance Courtyard (Above)
Aug 3-15, 17-29, 17:20 /  Tickets
June 29, 2022

Join Elz, Jams, Toni and latest arrival Jaime, as they confront the realities of our modern-day class system through live rap, trap and drill. Living in a hostel and battling impossible odds, their worlds are upended by the arrival of a newcomer from a privileged background, with deeply held religious beliefs.

 

Hi Oli, thank you for talking to The New Current, how have you been keeping during these strange times?

 

These times have been strange for a lot of people, but as a writer/actor I think it’s a good time to get working and developing your scripts and projects. Isolation and various lockdowns have been a blessing and not a curse for me in that regard.

 

How does it feel to be heading to Edinburgh Fringe with your Debut Show after everything that has happened?

 

It feels good, it’s obviously a blessing but myself and Corey Weekes have been working very hard on this script and we feel ready.

 

Are there going to be any nerves ahead of your first show at The Pleasance?

 

Not necessarily nerves, we’ll be building confidence each day from the graft we put in during rehearsals and hopefully we’re more concerned about telling the story as a collective rather than worrying about individual nerves.

 

One of the vital aspects of Edfringe is The Royal Mile during August. Have you got your show's sales patter down or are you still tweaking it?

 

I’ve actually had the experience of selling tickets for my first play I took to the fringe back in 2018, this time will be a lot less stressful thanks to the support from The Pleasance. I think the play sells itself.

 

Can you tell me a little bit about Rapsody, what can we expect?

 

Audiences will Join Elz, Jams, Toni and latest arrival Jaime, as they confront the realities of our modern-day class system through live rap, trap and drill.

 

Living in a hostel and battling impossible odds from the beginning, their worlds are upended by the arrival of a newcomer from a privileged background, with deeply held religious beliefs. As the dynamics of the hostel shift, all four struggle to get by, rapping the things they can't bring themselves to say.

 

When you preview a show how much does it change before a major festival and do you still allow yourself some flexibility once a run has started?

 

They’ll be flexibility throughout, we like to keep things loose but they’ll be a very tight fringe version of Rapsody which we will present to you, a few changes here and there but nothing major during the run.

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"Hopefully after we get comfortable with the running time and the first few shows under your belt."

Have you always had a passion for theatre?

 

Not really, I don’t come from a typical theatre background at all. I first walked into a theatre studio when I was 16 and I’ve just ran with it ever since.

 

What has been the most interesting thing you have discovered about yourself and the theatre you want to create after making this show?

 

I don’t know what I’ve discovered about myself, I’ve always had the confidence that I could write and act well, it’s just about getting the dots with like-minded people. Once Corey and myself started writing it was effortless.

 

I have known for a very long time, ever since I started doing theatre. I wanted to create stories about my class of people, they’re massively underrepresented in this industry and I believe myself and Corey can play a big part in changing that narrative.

 

What one word best describes your show?

 

Real.

 

In-between your show, how do you hope to get a chance to see other shows at the fringe?

 

Yeah, I’m sure we will see some other shows at the fringe. Hopefully after we get comfortable with the running time and the first few shows under your belt.

 

What has been the best piece of advice you have been given?

 

Don’t pander or try to please, just be.

 

Do you have a favourite theatre quote?

 

‘Acting is living truthfully under imagining circumstances’ - Sandford Meisner

 

And finally, what do you hope your audiences will take away from your show?

 

I want them to just question everything and everybody in this play, there’s no black and white characters, anybody can be anything at any time, such is life.

 

I don’t mind what they think, I’m sure they’ll leave the theatre a lot different to when they first walked in.