Captain Frodo On ... Contortionism & La CliqueDate: 30 October 2008
My father is a magician so I spent my childhood travelling around doing shows with him, and I quite quickly caught onto the idea of presenting unusual things on stage – I’ve always been very flexible so it was kind of a natural development. I had to work out how to present that on stage and first I put together an escape act. We ordered a straightjacket from New York, my dad would strap it onto me with chains, and my escape would be the climax of our show.
They call my skill hyper-mobility and for me it’s caused by a lack of collagen in my ligaments which gives me extra-elasticity. It’s not bad for my health in the long term. I mean, some of the things that I do are kind of precarious in themselves, but it’s not dangerous for me. People always ask if I do yoga and I actually don’t. I guess that could be a good place to start for those wanting to learn contortionism. But you need to know a little about what you’re doing so you don’t pull muscles - maybe don’t start with the tennis racket!
La Clique have been coming to Melbourne for many years, which is where I used to be based doing another show called The Happy Sideshow with Circus Oz. When I finished working with them about two and a half years ago, La Clique immediately asked me if I wanted to join them, which I was more than happy to do. I’ve travelled the world with them now, and I think that audience members everywhere can see that we are passionate about what we do and also that we have a great bond as a group. All the acts in the show are so strong that even after all this time we all still sit and watch each other’s acts. That’s the level of respect and professionalism and artistry that all the different acts have.
Our London debut has been a long time coming. We talked about it before but for different reasons it hasn’t happened, so it’s very exciting to have finally made it and the venue is just so amazing. Having performed in the famous Speigeltent (at the Edinburgh Fringe), which was built in the 1920s and has been the home of some great performers like Marlene Dietrich, to now come into another venue (the Hippodrome) that was built in 1901 and has such an incredible history … it’s great. With Houdini having performed on the same stage that we’re now on, it feels like a perfect marriage and a perfect venue for us.
I have no plans to leave La Clique. There’s talk of an extensive tour of America and Canada and maybe even an open-ended season in Paris on the cards. So there’s lots of stuff going on, and I hope that I'll be along for the ride!
- Captain Frodo was speaking to Theo Bosanquet
La Clique opened on 10 October 2008 (previews from 2 October) at the Hippodrome, where it’s currently booking until 1 February 2009. The company will help present the Launch Party for the 2009 Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards, which takes place at the Hippodrome on Friday 5 December 2008. For more information on the exciting line-up for the launch, click here.