Gameshow interview with Tony Trigwell-Jones

Gameshow are currently touring This Is The Moon, That Is The Earth (we are here, we are here). Last week, their first performance was at the wonderful Aberystwyth Arts Centre, who have a wonderful programme of contemporary theatre and circus.

This Thursday, Matthew and Matt will head to Arlington Arts Centre. Tony Trigwell-Jones, Arlington’s artistic director, had these questions for Gameshow’s Matthew Evans.

You say Gameshow Theatre started as a “conversation”. Can we have an insight into what you discussed, and how easy it was to translate that chat into this intrepid adventure?

We’ve always talked a lot about shows and ideas since we met in 2006 – trying to make each other laugh, trying to be sillier or cleverer than each other.  This show’s about space travel, but it’s also about our relationship. We didn’t plan that, so it wasn’t easy or hard – just a bit of a surprise.

Space is a big theme in “This is the moon, that is the earth. We are here we are here.” What’s so attractive about the final frontier to you guys?

The unknown, unimagineable distances and sizes, that everything’s all made up of the exactly the same stuff.

Fame’s another theme of the show; do you have any thoughts on why people want to be famous so badly and, for you, how does that desire differ from a wish to perform?

People have always wanted to be famous haven’t they.  Even people who don’t want to be famous (like us), would actually quite like to be famous.  Matt wants to be a rock star and Matthew wants to be on BBC Radio 4.  Everyone needs approval.  Only the brave perform.

You both work with young people, Matt as an English Teacher, Matthew with various theatre companies. Do your students come and watch your performances as Gameshow Theatre, and what kind of feedback do you get from them?

We get down to our pants in the show, so we didn’t invite them.

How did you respond when you saw the audience review “I have very little idea of what just happened, but I’m really pleased that it did”?

Put it on the website.

There’s been some comment on the show’s exploration of masculinity – do you think the 00’s is a changing time for the expectations of men in the Western world?

Gender’s becoming a bit of a fascination.  Thankfully attitudes to what makes a man or woman are always changing.  Matt taught Matthew about thigh gap the other day. We’re interested in what effect our being men might have on our shows.  We’d like to work with an all female cast to see what that’s like.  

One of your aims is “to bring new audiences to theatres”. That’s a very noble cause, how are you going about this?

We don’t really think of it as noble.  Theatre always needs to find new audiences to keep itself alive.  And we’re more excited performing to someone who’s never seen a show before than a Shakespeare buff.  Too much theatre risks being stuffy and serving a narrow elite.

And lastly, was there much of an argument about who got to be Matt and who got be Matthew?

Matt’s shorter, so he gets the shorter name.

Thanks so much. We can’t wait to see you.

Here are some photos from their recent tech rehearsal at Camden People’s Theatre.

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