Caro Meets Theatre Interview

Andy Roberts: Predator via a five year old

By | Published on Thursday 24 January 2013


When we heard that award winning theatre company Bootworks were headed for Jackson’s Lane with a show inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger film ‘Predator’, well, we were, needless to say, just a little bit intrigued. It was a bit of a rush, but we managed to squeeze in this short but informative Q&A with creator Andy Roberts.

CM:We know that your show is called Predator, and has its basis in the Arnie film of the same name, but can you tell us a little more about what happens?
AR: The performance asks for three participants from the audience to come on stage and help re-create the film Predator. Using really low-fi props and effects we try to re-create almost the entire film. People are assigned characters, and it’s all quite silly really.

At the heart of the performance is the idea of embracing the childhood freedom of play; where anything can be used to represent the most complex of things. When I was younger this sense of play was rooted in the films I watched, and how my brother and I re-imagined them. It’s about my brother as well, him growing up and me somehow not; as my chosen career still involves me making things out of cardboard and creating little worlds.

CM:What inspired you to base a show on the film?
AR: When my brother and me were young (I was 5, he was about 8 or 9) we snuck downstairs and taped the film Predator off of the TV.

We fell in love with the movie and started to re-create the film in our shared bedroom; scene-for-scene. Our bedroom became our own little film studio, and we used everything we could find in our house to represent the various props and scenery within the film. It was a lot of fun.

Unfortunately (for me) we moved house and got separate bedrooms, and at this point my brother felt that, as he had his own bedroom, he was too ‘grown up’ for such silly games (as well as having a new found fascination with football and girls) so we never finished the movie.

Forward to 2010, and I was working on a project with one of the other artistic directors of Bootworks Theatre, James Baker, on a project called “30 Days to Space” which involved James climbing a six foot ladder for nine hours a day for thirty days straight, at the Forest Fringe, in Edinburgh. His intention was to climb to the height of space and become an honorary astronaut, as he was now too old to ever physically achieve his childhood dream of becoming one. I was his ground control (along with Robert Jude Daniels).

Clocking his climbs during this project I had a lot of time to think about what my own childhood dream was. All I could think about was our little Predator project, and how disappointed I was that we didn’t finish it. So not long after the climb, I got into the studio with Robert and James, and started working on ways I could finish the project off.

CM:How did you go about creating it?
AR: As this was only a small side project to keep myself busy (while we toured other performances with the company) it was quite a long time in the making, with weekends here and there to work on it. But the project would not have been possible without the space given to me by The ShowRoom Chichester and The Basement Brighton.

It was a really fun process as we really got to dive into the mindset of being five, when anything was possible if you had enough toys. So we started building all the things my brother and I used to use and then just let our imaginations run wild whilst trying to keep true to the DIY low-fi aesthetic. It was quite hard at times as it’s so important that the performance is a shared experience and only works when you have people to participate…

Predator: Finishing Off What I Started When I Was Five runs until 26 Jan at Jacksons Lane, see the venue website for details.

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