Smokey Quartz does Turkish

Posted on August 24, 2016 by Basement

Our blogger Jonty chatted to Jess Robinson about her new show Smoky Quartz Does Turkish coming up next week in the Studio.

What can we expect form the show?

A mad, fun, multi-character, musical roller coaster ride.

What inspired the show?

I was inspired to make this show after my training at the John Bolton school. I hadn’t previously understood the concept of solo shows and thought great acting was more about the exchange between performers, but I’ve come to realize the exchange between a performer and the audience is just as exciting and much more unpredictable.

Being new to Auckland I had time on my hands which got me hungry to make something. I went to see a friend perform in Hotspot Cabaret and was lucky to get a slot myself. I didn’t know what on earth I was going to make until a night out in Ponsonby when I met the inspiration for Turkish, a British conman with a nickname that he’d been given for no apparent reason. The show has become an entirely different beast now with a band backing me and a circus load of other characters.

What do you love about vaudeville?

For a woman who finds it hard to make decisions vaudeville is perfect. It’s a place for a variety of performers to get up and tell their story or show their amazing/unusual act. There is something magical and dangerous about the style of performance. It was the voice of the city in a time before television. I love the fact that you have no idea what/who is going to show up next and what on earth they might do. I hope to capture some of that.

What has been the most difficult part of the production?

Deciding on the songs for the show – there are so many great songs out there and just when I thought I had my running order a friend would play me a song I’d forgotten or not heard before and I’d be back to the drawing board. Deciding on the the songs also meant deciding on the story – another tough task!

You can catch Smoky Quartz Does Turkish from August 30 – 9 September in our Studio. More of Jonty’s writing can be found on his blog.