"When the summer holidays came around, we didn’t want to lose that momentum by being apart for three months so we gave each other bi-weekly tasks to complete until we came back for second year."
1st Springboard: FESTIVAL FOR EMERGING ARTISTS
29 March - 23 April, 2022
Rebecka Öberg & Jack Boal
WHY I AM AN AVOCADO
12 - 13 April | Book Now
Fragments of queer narratives, characters, and confessions tie together with the question we all ask: What makes me an avocado? Am I ripe? Do I come in a pair with unnecessary plastic protecting me from squeezing hands? Or am I just soft, single, left in the corner, destined to be part of the never-ending food waste?
There might be an answer. There probably won’t be.
Let Keith and Delilah hold your hand through the HCT Programme - a new method in exploring self-love (and loving them). Join Callum in his corner as he advises, guides, and inspires you to be your best self. Then, help Juliet find her one true love.
Hey Rebecka & Jack, thank you for talking with The New Current, how is everything been going?
Hi! We have both been busy with other projects recently, so we’re excited to come together and do Why I am an Avocado again.
Why I Am An Avocado is set to run at The King’s Head Theatre as part of SPRINGBOARD 2022, what does it mean to you to be part of such an amazing line up of theatre?
We are so excited! It’s always a lot of fun being part of a festival and immersing oneself in theatre, especially as the line-up for SPRINGBOARD is very queer. We are looking forward to meeting everyone and spreading knowledge about the connection between gays and avocados.
With the cancelling of VAULT Festival this year how essential are opportunities like SPRINGBOARD for new theatre?
Absolutely vital. Momentum can be hard to accumulate as an early career theatre maker, and the pandemic cancellations have sometimes left us deflated and disheartened. Getting an opportunity like SPRINGBOARD has definitely motivated our avocado spirit and given us a sense of career progression.
You had an amazing response to Why I Am An Avocado, what has meant to be able to revisit this production and will much change since the last time you staged this show?
This is an ever-changing show, no performance is the same. The audience interactions and bits of improvisation makes it really fun to revisit. We’re going back into rehearsals in a few weeks and as we always strive to better ourselves, we’ll definitely look at how we can progress and push the show even further.
Winning Best Comedy at the Greater Manchester Fringe in 2021 must have been amazing, did you imagine you would get this type of reaction to your show?
We had a great response when we first performed a scratch version at Rose Bruford Symposium during our third year. But that audience was a bunch of wonderfully supportive drama school students - mostly our friends - and we didn’t know if it would hold up “in the real world”. We got really surprised when we won Best Comedy and it feels good to know that there’s a place in the world for gay avocados.
Can you tell me a little bit about how Why I Am An Avocado came about, what was the inspiration behind this unique show?
We got together at the very end of first year to create a space where we could explore our identities as queer theatre makers. When the summer holidays came around, we didn’t want to lose that momentum by being apart for three months so we gave each other bi-weekly tasks to complete until we came back for second year. From those tasks we started creating material which eventually became Why I am an Avocado. One of the tasks Jack gave me was to write about “if I was a fruit what would I be and why?”. I’ll give you one good guess as to what my answer was!
What have been the biggest challenges you have faced bringing Why I Am An Avocado to life?
Rehearsing audience interaction without having an audience. It’s really bizarre actually, we take turns pretending to be an audience member and try to put each other in really difficult situations so we can be prepared for anything. But when it comes down to it, there’s no way of knowing how people will respond. That’s why it’s so much fun!
With a devised piece like this, how much flexibility do you give yourself in the build up to and during a performance run?
Quite a bit. We need to have space for the various opportunities the audience gives us in our interaction, but we also need to be prepared for the event that no one wants to actively participate. So far that hasn’t happened, people are usually very eager and we have had lots of fun connecting with people this way.
Where did your passion for theatre come from and how much has your approach to your work changed since you started out?
We both started out quite young and first met in drama school. At that point we wanted to be clever and come across as intelligent with our work. Now our focus is much more on playfulness and having fun with our audience.
What has been the best piece of advice you have been given and is there any advice or tips you would offer any emerging theatre maker?
Find your people. Being a theatre maker is often an uphill battle, but doing it together with people you enjoy working with makes it so much easier.
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from Why I Am An Avocado?
We hope you will laugh a fair bit. Maybe you’ll have a bit of a think afterwards? But no worries if not! And hopefully, you’ll be able to see and cherish the beautiful connection between avocados and queer identity.