Shaun Shears talks about bringing NEVER MIND THE GAP to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Name: Shaun Shears
Name of Edinburgh show: Never Mind The Gap
Venue: thespace@ surgeons hall theatre 2
Performance time: 15:05
Show length: 50mins
Ticket price: £5
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I have Arthritis and Cerebral Palsy.
I’m a Wheelchair bound singer songwriter who writes original songs in a variety of ways; via xylophone, iPad apps harmonicas and more. I try to write genre bending songs so every song is different, all songs are based upon real life or off the wall they maybe from: Wheelchair sex, hecklers, my disabilities or my little sister. I want to change peoples perception of a disabled performer we should be recognised despite our disabilities, the art is what’s important the beauty, humour and intelligence should be respected more than any problems or afflictions one may have and let’s face it everyone has there own struggles.
Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
Never Mind the gap: is a fusion of original songwriting, mind reading and magic. We hope to bring the original passion of the fringe to the modern age, in which people with different talents combine to share them in one cohesive show. It’s about forgetting the differences, the gaps between the three of us and acknowledging each other craft and really being able to enhance our friendships and give the audience a real honest performance showing that nothing is impossible, because if this show can work anything can.
How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
About a year Tim Browsea (fellow songwriter and co star) came to me with some pretty good songs we began to combine my songs on iPod with his guitar and vocals and me adding in any odd instrument or vocal harmony possible. We realised that our opposite natures (myself being very expressive and tim being very reserved.) Was a great combination add to this the audience participation we would evoke with jokes, stories about the songs, my cat, Tims young daughter people got invested.
We found ourselves doing a series of shows with Magician Matt Horan (who’s also in the show) we realised that we were good preparing an audience for each other’s act we are like ‘ mood theatre’ or support theatre we are able to give each other and other artists on the bill more impact.
Mainly through desire and a want to share what we do further in an eye catching unconventional platform and let people feel like they are having a unique experience that’s what drives us to do and prepare for any performances but most importantly the fringe in this case.
Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
Friends because with good friends the longer the memory of your fringe experience last the longer the joy continues.
I’ve done this four times now and I think the key is to find away to enjoy the fringe, it’s nothing sacred on its own but it is if your able to share it with friends that feel not just your passion to put on a show but treat it like a blessing, your getting to perform what you want on a world renowned platform and you get to share that with audiences, new performers and your friends!
What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
Loads I think the biggest one was having my mum jump up on stage and telling everyone my child hood secrets before pretending to flash the crowd I was mortified. Or the time I was playing behind a train-station a lonely spectator was on the bridge I said ‘thank you for watching’ his reply was ‘no problem I missed my train, really wish I got on it though…. Oh shoot there not running today! That joke back fired on me!’ He said I couldn’t stop laughing I nearly fell out my chair.
Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
My Friends and family, the kindness of human nature. Artist wise those who continue or did push the boundaries of what they should be I have really obscure ones:
Anyone who is credible in more than one area or redefine there own and open your eyes to other artists: Dudley Moore, Sammy Davis Jnr, Harry Secombe, Leonard Cohen, to a lesser extent for what they do for there indigenous routes or charity and longevity like: Neil Finn, Nile Rodgers, Ray Davies, Ricky Gervais, Willy Russell artists who are unafraid, unassuming or you’d have to go on wikepedia to find out more there becoming less which is sad.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
A cup of tea I’m very boring.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
Any and as many as possible this is part of the fringe you get to see so much I’ve met performers and seen shows from all round the world I look forward to the show that surprises me most!
Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
Because my show is different every time you have three different acts that are unique working together and each time this is performed different moments each night are created some funny, some truthful, some breathtaking and you the audience will be apart of that result for already in honestly great full.