On a misty December evening the TRP Bloggers were treated to an outing to deepest Kungalunga Jungle via The Drum. The journey took us through the darkest reaches of backstage where rare birds could be heard trilling (Glyndebourne artiste’s vocal warm ups – beautiful) twisting and turning until we reached The Drum stage. I love The Drum, it is a warm, intimate space where you feel anything might happen. Latent excitement oozes from its walls and being so close to the productions gives you the feeling of participation rather than merely audience.
There was an English woman, a French woman and a gorilla…
We were greeted by a scene reminiscent of my teenager’s bedroom i.e.random objects strewn around mostly on the floor.Susie, Pauline and the crew who are collectively Spitz and Co, creators and cast of Gloria in the Mist welcomed us. The two women, one English and one French, invited our questions and spoke honestly about their work. As they chatted to us it was clear they had a great rapport and they were funny, very funny. I watched in awe as they deftly piled the assortment of bizarre, seemingly unrelated objects; toothpaste, leaves, snow, slippers, bits of gorilla and a set of genitals to name a few, into piles of props. Susie told us it helped setting out the props as it acted as a mini rehearsal.
Q. Where did Spitz and Co start?
A. At a comedy workshop where they were advised that to be successful they should work as a duo with someone who made them laugh. Evidently great advice!
Q. Is there a difference between the French and English sense of humour? A. Definitely! Sometimes resulting in blank looks rather than laughter between them. ‘If we think something is rubbish we say so otherwise the show won’t work, or our Director does.’
Q. How long does it take to work up a show? A. Impossible to say as the shows evolve. There is an idea but it is hard to really gauge the comedy until there is an audience to bounce off. If it doesn’t work it is changed. If there are new ideas they are included as are ‘happy accidents’ or mistakes which cause much laughter. It can take up to a year to get a show from good to great.
Time to change for the show and we were shown their dressing room and given a quick lesson by Pauline on how to don a wig securely. Whilst Pauline dressed we returned to the stage and Susie showed us her favourite prop, the book signing screen and some of us played with a small remote control helicopter. Then still slightly bemused we left them to complete their preparations.
Gloria in the Mist
The TRP Bloggers then watched the show and even though I now know how those props fit I am still not sure what I saw! It was ingenious and hilariously funny. My sides ached afterwards and I am still chuckling now. I am not surprised that many of the audience had come to see Gloria in the Mist for a second time. I will certainly be in the queue for tickets for their next show. Thank you ladies for a brilliant evening.