Fringe World Perth 2016

Interview with Paul Bourke, Fringe World Perth 2016

0 Comments 09 February 2016


Paul Bourke

Laksa Lounge @ Noodle Palace

Author and interviewer: Jasmine Seabrook-Benson

Vladimir the Crow arrived at Fringe World Perth with a rather pale complexion — not so outstanding in his world of vampires, werewolves, ghosts and ghouls — and a bubbling enthusiasm to connect with the humans he adores so much.

Paul Bourke’s solo performance in Vladimir the Crow – Whispering Ghoul has wowed audiences with its hybrid style and unique approach. The show incorporates theatre’s capacity to “be both visual and sonic in its composition” while allowing the performer and audience to have a direct connection. Bourke enjoys “taking a very physical and imagination driven approach to creating theatre and theatrical characters”, which is exemplified in this show.

Whispering Ghoul is a production that Bourke has been keen to create for quite some time. As someone who was inspired by clown theatre as well as classic horror, a performance that combines the two is a dream come true. “I wanted to create something which I would love to perform, something that I felt I, as an audience, would enjoy to see and experience.”

Clown theatre has a magical quality for Bourke, which is what inspired him to focus on it as a performer. “Every process is different and like starting from scratch again,” he reflects. “But for me all processes have a period of feeling lost and overwhelmed. I believe in following impulses and feelings when creating work and am always amazed and relieved when, out of the wilderness, all the materials being generated begin to resonate, meld and build to make a certain kind of sense, sensation, world and feeling.”

Vladimir the Crow “is mostly a clown character, with a dash of bouffon”, performance styles which Bourke observes, “exist a little bit outside where normal acting and the general rules of theatre sit”.

He explains that he’s drawn to these forms “because a big feature of both styles is their direct contact with the audience, the removal of the fourth wall so to speak”. This produces a sense “that the character created is living, seeing, hearing and breathing in the room, aware and responsive to the audience”. It “has a certain fun and danger to it.”

“Bouffon is a grotesque style of clowning which parodies society and holds up a mirror. Bouffons as characters have a genuine desire to mock their audience and shoot daggers at them from their eyes. I love to play this style, but deep down I feel I have a clown heart.”

Vladimir the Crow is also a clown at heart. He is humble, playful, and genuinely fascinated by humans. The show is, for him, an excuse to connect with and show off to the mortals he is in awe of.

“I want the audience to walk away buzzing and resonant with a sense of being both light and dark, human beings beautiful in all their imperfections”.

Vladimir the Crow – Whispering Ghoul ran from January 22-23 and 27-30 in Laksa Lounge at Noodle Palace, Francis Street, Perth.

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