Young Perspective brings you an exclusive interview with Martin Foreman, the writer and director (multi-tasking man) behind Casanova Dreaming and Volpone. These two shows are coming to Fringe this year and have the tantalising tagline linking them together of sex, money and intrigue… I’ll confess it intrigues me.
Hello! How are you doing today?
I’m fine, thanks. Not yet reached the stage where I panic about the shows.
Is this everyone’s first time at Fringe? If so, what do they expect from the festival – if not, why are you all putting yourselves through it again?
This is my fourth fringe as writer/director. Some of our cast are old hands, but a lot are new. Because we all live in or near Edinburgh we won’t be surprised by the enthusiasm of thousands of participants. What we have to face to up is the energy required to keep a show fresh – but if we get good audiences that won’t be a problem.
What is your main ethos that influences the work you put on?
Egoism! Most of the shows I’ve put on I wrote myself, although a couple of years ago I directed J B Priestley’s The Rose and Crown. Egoism aside, I either want to make people laugh or make them think. I’m particularly interested in strong passions – sex, love, ambition, longing – and I’m up for directing new writing by others in the future
What makes these shows stand out at Fringe?
Volpone is a crowd-pleasing comedy, a classical two-act farce. The modern twist is making the key character Mosca a woman, which leads to even more confusion. On the serious side, Casanova Dreaming is a one-act drama about the famous libertine. Patrick Bergamo, a Scots-Italian, actor takes the title role. He’s good-looking and topless, which always helps, but what’s most interesting is the nuances of Casanova’s relationships with women. They were not one-sided, but often complex and subtle. Still, I expect controversy at his attitudes. Audiences restricted to 16 years and older.
Are you planning on previewing this before Fringe anywhere else?
Volpone ran for a week at the Fringe last year. It got only one review – 4 stars from All-Edinburgh Theatre. We’re aiming for much more than that this year! Casanova Dreaming premieres at the Fringe and it’ll be interesting to see how audiences react.
Summaries of the shows?
Volpone: He’s dying to get rich
Casanova Dreaming: The greatest master of all is Passion
What are you hoping your audience will leave thinking after seeing this show?
After Volpone: I’m exhausted from laughing; where’s the best place to have a drink?
After Casanova Dreaming: Did he make the right choice? What would I have done in his place?
How long have you been preparing for Fringe? Whirlwind rehearsal schedule or has this been in the works for a while?
Both. I started planning almost immediately the last Fringe ended. Auditions were in March. Intensive rehearsals begin in July. Utter exhaustion will set in when the Fringe ends. Then I’ll start all over again.
Three words that you’ll be shouting during the inevitable flyering this August?
Sex, money, intrigue
Scale of 1 to 10 – how excited are you to be coming?
5 excitement, 5 dread that something major will go wrong, makes a total of 10.
Finally – where and at what time and dates can we find you during the Fringe?
Volpone: Paradise in Augustines (venue 152) 3 – 26 Aug (not 12,19), 18.35 (2h 20m inc interval)
Casanova Dreaming: theSpace @ Niddry Street (venue 9) 6 – 25 Aug (not 12,19), 14.15 (50m)