INTERVIEW: LE COUP talks about taking Edinburgh Fringe on a ‘wild ride’

Name of Edinburgh show: Le Coup
Venue: Circus Hub, The Pleasant, Spegial Tent
Performance time: 18:00
Show length: 60 Mins
Ticket price: from £17.80

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I was a dancer who run away to the circus. That happened about 20 years ago and I am still here surprising myself and loving the world it allows me to express in. I am the Artistic Director of the Australian Circus Company2. Company2 have gained a reputation for creating visceral vaudevillian worlds in which acrobatics, magic, dance and live music entwine for a scintillatingly visceral entertainment experience.

Previous shows include the “divinely decadent and disconcerting” (Telegraph) Cantina, inspired by a sizzling Latin fiesta, and jazz-circus speakeasy Scotch & Soda described by The Guardian in its ★★★★★ review as “unmissable; its world is so alluring, so intoxicating”.

Tell me about your new show, what it is all about?
Le Coup (from the French word to hit) takes us to a neo-vaudeville speakeasy, where it’s fight night in the Boxing Tent.

A staple of the Australian carnival touring circuit – a Boxing Tent sees an enterprising promoter take a portable ring and a band of outlandish and flamboyant prize fighters into a village and challenge the best local scrappers to throw down while the crowd bays and bets their last penny.

One by one our Ringmaster – the immense 7th generation heavyweight fighter King will introduce a series of ‘prize fights’ where his best brawlers throw down against a dangerous collection of lost souls using ‘combat’ skills including hand-to-hand acrobatics, Chinese Pole, Washington Trapeze, Magic, Dance, Corde Lisse, Aerial Straps, Juggling, Hand Balancing and a spectacular Shoulder Pole finale all set against a bristlingly atmospheric bluegrass fusion soundtrack by Father Grant and The Blunt Objects.

The cast of misfits features Sister, the shadowy twin without a pair, Sally the travelling street tough who fights to mask a broken heart, The Ugly Hungarian, an amnesiac moustachioed mystery, Barry the Crossdressing Builder who smashes opponents and stereotypes in the same blow, Mary- who is alleged to have murdered five of her brothers, and Bookie Benny the gambler who runs a book on anyone who dares to challenge this troupe of .

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2019?
Le Coup was developed in 2018 and has only had a few short outings so far. It is a fresh work ready to head the Edinburgh stage. I always try to make work which engages audiences in new ways. A great show in my mind is one that can transport an audience with it to a new world and escape life for that time we all share together. It is an experience we should all share together rather than the audience witness the artists going on a journey. When I created Le Coup I surprised myself. It push my own imagination and I kept wondering what we were creating. But I feel we have created something unique and I think it will fit in well in the hussle of Edinburgh Fringe.

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
Have ‘too see’ list, then see random shows, get amongst the action and breath!

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
Oh….. I am not sure and not sure if these are the things you want to remember. It is always funny when someone splits their pants. It has not ever happened to me but can happen to the men, as they do more lifting and put the pants under pressure. These can be very funny depending on the situation. Maybe not always funny for them.

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
It always changes for me and depends on what I am doing and what I feel I need to draw from. My kids always rate very high. Watching them grow and their ability to just be in each moment and experience it can teach us a lot.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
I am not in this show, I am the director. When I am performing I like to take time just to sit on my own. Some people need noise and others around. I need to be alone. Getting make up on is a good thing to bring you into focus. When directing and not performing I get more nervous as you can only watch and not do anything to help. I just give the artists the space and time they need to feel good inside what they are doing and if really needed have a glass of wine.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
The Long pigs is top of the list. Race Horse Company. Yuck. Lots of great Australian circus but when in season the time to see anything is not always available. I think I will hit the family shows with my 2 year old.

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
Le Coup is a wild ride. We have tried to make a show which has a very new approach. It is active watching. It involves the audience without dragging you up on stage. Great circus, Great music, lots of fun it’s a perfect way to escape for an hour and join us for a wild ride.

Thanks for having Tea With Wilma


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