- Theatre in London.ca: It’s your second time at the London Fringe Festival and fourth time performing in London. What brings you back to the city?
- Christel Bartelse: I had such a great time the first time I came to London. This is where I first performed CHAOTICA, my very first solo show, so it’s special to me, I was overwhelmed with the response. I love the people and the way the festival is run. It’s well organized and everyone’s so nice, supportive and generous. I wanted to come back last year, but I was still touring CHAOTICA, so wanted to wait until I had a new show to bring to this city. Very excited to be back.
- TiL: Can you compare CHAOTICA and ONEymoon? Is there a progression (as it might seem) or are they from different inspirations?
- CB: I feel these shows are totally different but of course they both draw from my own life. I’m inspired by what’s going on in my personal life at the time I go to create the show. CHAOTICA was about a girl trapped in a board game, this came out of a time when my life was in chaos. ONEymoon is the story of a woman who marries herself. This draws from my own struggles about relationships and wanting my independence but was created at the time I entered a new relationship. I think people will find similarities in the styles of the show. I tap dance, sing, and improvise with the audience in both shows.
- TiL: What’s it like co-writing a one-person show?
- CB: I had never really done this before either so it was a new experience for me. Jimmy [Hogg] and I both wrote sections, and also jammed and tossed ideas back and forth. Mainly I wrote, he would read it, edit, write some more, and then pass it back to me. We have very different writing styles so it was great to put the two together. He’s a brilliant writer so it was great to have him on board.
- TiL: You’re also doing a clown workshop; what can people expect? Any experience necessary?
- CB: I love this art form so much, so it’s ironic that my show isn’t clown at all. It’s a comedy, but I stepped away from this style for this show because I wanted to try something completely different. However, I wanted to teach a course in theatrical clowning because I’m so passionate about it and have been doing it for so many years. I love clowning, watching clowns, and teaching it. This work is based on the style of Richard Pochinko. People don’t need any experience. Just an open mind, ready to play, have fun, and laugh of their own ridiculousness. That’s what a clown does.