A LIVE simulation autopsy is to form part of the twisted fun behind a 24-hour production never seen before in Cork.
Doctor Goldberg’s Travelling Playhouse — which takes place at Bolt Theatre, Patrick’s Quay on Friday, April 21 from 7pm for an interval free run — will present audiences with a host of misfits and curiosities from mind readers to seductresses. The Victorian circus meets theatre and carnival performance is aimed at adults due to its creepier characters such as a deranged clown.
Darren Kelleher, who heads Bolt Productions, said they are keeping the real names of performers under wraps until after the production to add to its surreal element.
He explained that while cast members will have breaks and perform on a rotational basis, the spectacle will be non-stop for audience members.
Darren described the bizarre spectacles from yesteryear that served as inspiration for their event.
“When you look back at some of the things that people enjoyed as entertainment back then it was amazing to think that this was even allowed. There was no respect for human life.
“People regarded as curiosities are now entertaining audiences for social media followers, whereas back then they were doing it as a means of survival. Many taken in by carnivals and circuses wouldn’t have otherwise been able to make a living.”
He described what people can expect from the show.
“It’s a very mixed bag of characters given that we are indulging in our own ideas about what carnival and circus used to be,” he said. “There’s a hypnotist who turns human beings into animals and a woman named Morteena who dissects a body in front of the audience and transplants the organs into a teddy bear.
“The idea is to try and bring the teddy bear to life but people will have to come along to see if her Frankenstein inspired experiment works or not. The great thing about the show is audiences never know what to expect.”
The experience has proved rewarding for both Darren and the performers involved.
“Between working on film and theatre productions we are straddling both sides, but this has really allowed us to push the boundaries.”
He shed light on the origins of the project.
“The idea has been there for a while. The idea of a man rocking up and unfolding the stage from a cart only to put on a show and never be seen again was something that really appealed to us. With films there is a lot of stopping and starting with time in between for feedback. Plays are just a few hours so this was an entirely new challenge.”
Darren opened up about the magical element of late-night performances.
“We’re embracing the weirdness of our imaginations in a way that traditional theatre can’t. I’ve always been somebody who prefers the night-time and the early hours of the morning. There is something about the stillness of the night. I think this goes back to childhood when we all had to be in bed for a certain time.”
The acting tutor said they are not phased about ticket sales adding: “We’ll be there whether there is an audience or not. It’s exciting to see what will happen either way.”
Tickets are priced at €10 and are available at the door. Photographic identification is required as the show is for over 16s only.