Potatoes, synths & mania

Posted on June 2, 2016 by Basement

Do you know what a potato synthesiser is?

We don’t either. So we asked ol’ blogging mate Jonty to ask creator of Potato Stamp Megalomaniac, Andrew Gunn… *

How would you describe the show in one sentence?

It’s a rampant solo show about the majesty of the potato stamp and the limits of the brain’s power – underscored by music issuing from a synthesiser made out of potatoes!

It’s based on an experience you had in 2012, how cathartic has it been to turn it into theatre?

I didn’t really make the show for my own catharsis – I feel quite distanced from the experience now.

I rather made the show with the intention of ‘sharing’ the mania, or the audience experiencing it with me – I entice them down the rabbit hole to see that mania is seductive – it’s exhilarating and exciting, especially when you don’t know what it is you are experiencing!

The autobiographical side of the show has become less important, and making the experience of mania more accessible for an audience has become more important.

What has been the most difficult part of the production?

There is a scene fully improvised where I have a conversation with the audience, which is sometimes solid gold, but can has the potential to fall on its face if the audience is not so willing to participate!

There’s sometimes got to be a small chance of failure for something to be really compelling, right?

The show features a potato synthesiser. What is a potato synthesiser?!

It’s a synthesiser made by my sound wizard Tom Dennison.

An array of potatoes are connected to a device that Tom has programmed to produce and modulate noises. So all of our sound is done through Tom touching potatoes.

It’s possibly the most exciting and grandiose tech table I’ve seen before, and to boot everyone wants to touch vegetables with the operator after the show.

More by Jonty can be found on his blog.

Potato Stamp Megalomaniac runs 7-18 June, 6.30pm.