Captain Overlord's Folly Or The Fool's Revenge
Since their Fringe debut in 2000, Clancy Productions have become well known to Edinburgh audiences for their high-energy, intellectually engaging theatre.
Last year the New York based multi-award winning theatre company won the inaugural EIF Award, providing them with £10,000 to create a workshop presentation of Captain Overlord's Folly Or The Fool's Revenge specially for the EIF¹s Behind the Scenes.
Overlord is a military hero turned industrialist who has a dark secret. He is also the guardian of Sue, orphaned when her parents died in a ballooning accident. Sue is in love with Tom and it is the eve of her 18th birthday.
The piece begins with a well presented 19th century play, but at the end of the first act, a group of buffoons or evil clowns attack, killing and eating their victims. In the second act, the clowns try to perform the play, only to be driven from the stage by a group of academics and critics, whose incredibly dull analysis soon has the buffoons fleeing.
"This is an insanely aggressive piece," says John Clancy, executive artistic director of Clancy Productions, who is at home in New York's Lower East side with his actor wife, Nancy Walsh. Walsh, who is president of Clancy Productions and performs in Overlord¹s Folly … , adds, "We are getting further and further from doing plays and more into doing social events.¹
Like Fatboy, which won Clancy Productions one of their five Fringe Firsts, Captain Overlord's Folly … doesn¹t present one good guy with whom the audience¹s sympathy should lie, instead it changes all the time. So though the clowns commit terrible acts, they also make the audience laugh and the hero is presented as a good man despite being shown to have a less than heroic past.
"We don't think anyone in today's world has the time and patience to watch a beautiful perfect work," says Walsh. Clancy picks up her theme, "There's an urgency to our work. We talk as fast as we can without pausing. What we do is pretty simple, accessible, entertaining political theatre without lecturing. We are talking to the climate we are living in."
The Hub, Tue 19 & Wed 20 Aug, 2:30 pm, £6