Daniel Padden: 'I was interested in what happens when musicians are given absurd challenges they're not used to dealing with'

Daniel Padden: 'I was interested in what happens when musicians are given absurd challenges they're not used to dealing with'

credit: Mihaela Bodlovic

Musician and composer discusses his debut theatre show WhirlyGig

He's composed music for some of Scotland's finest children's theatre companies, including Catherine Wheels and Visible Fictions. But now, Daniel Padden is doing it for himself, with his debut theatre show, WhirlyGig.

As you would expect from a musician-composer, there's a lot of music in it – and a lot of instruments – 30, to be precise. Really, that many?

'Yes – in fact we had to reduce the number as it was getting out of hand,' says Padden. 'There's a sousaphone, xylophone, saxophone, kazoo, ukulele, concertina, drums, melodica, voices and some others you might not think are instruments. I suppose I'm greedy, and I love to hear different sounds. I have a basement full of weird and wonderful instruments, most of which I can play very badly.'

Padden himself doesn't perform in the show, which may explain why he's made it so difficult for those who do. A celebration of the many different ways music can be made, WhirlyGig finds four brave musicians faced with a range of musical puzzles to solve.

'I was interested in what happens when musicians are taken outside their comfort zone and given absurd challenges they're not used to dealing with,' explains Padden. 'So in WhirlyGig they don't get to sit still, they don't always get to play the right instrument, and they don't always know what they're playing. But they still have to put on a show. It's very funny watching them, and I'm glad I'm not on stage!'

Platform, Glasgow, Fri 6 Sep; Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Fri 13 & Sat 14 Sep, and touring.

WhirlyGig

Live theatrical experience for children featuring four musicians, 30 instruments and exciting musical puzzles to solve.

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