How did the concept of the show come about?
The idea came from reading a really inspiring article about Jules Verne, as well as our desire to make a truly funny show for both young audiences and their families. Verne was truly visionary, he said: ‘anything a person can imagine another can make real’. We loved the idea of travelling into a parallel dimension where all his inventions had come alive and we called it Vernopolis in his honour.
From reading about the plot there is a big Spielberg feel to it. Was this something which was taken into consideration when putting things together?
Of course, it is a huge influence. In fact one of the first things we did in the rehearsal room was watching The Goonies together . We loved the idea of making a family show about a group of friends going into a dangerous and crazy adventure.
There are many other influences, from Jules Verne’s Extraordinary Journeys to the absurdity of comedy movies like Airplane! But also from our own childhood. We were children during the 80’s, so we know what it’s like to wander out and about with our friends on our bikes and get lost in unfamiliar places with no mobile phones…
How did you become involved with the project?
We, Patricia Rodriguez and Merce Ribot, are directors of the show and co-artistic directors of the company. We lead the whole process with a team of super talented people, from actors, to composers, poets and producers… There is a big team behind the scenes.
Was there a need to use modern elements in the show as to not make the whole thing a trip down memory lane?
Not really, the 80’s are really rich and we are unconventional enough so even if we use all those elements the production still feels very original even for those who have lived during the 80’s. It’s escentially a sci-fi adventure, so it’s all about the story and the 80’s vibe is our backdrop.
Was it fun reminiscing and looking back at the music and the fashion of the 1980s?
It was incredibly fun – the music, fashion, the naivety and the sense of what was ‘cool’ back then it is really fun to play with on stage. The characters are very endearing and wonderful.
What do you hope that the audience will get out of the production?
A lot of laughter. It’s theatrically rich: music, dance and a wonderful story but above anything else it’s a comedy. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and this piece is a clear example of it.
What would you say has been the toughest challenges bringing the show together?
We always work collaboratively in the room while making work, so coming up with a story that was fully rounded and meaningful was always going to be the biggest challenge. We also wanted to make sure the language was very looked after and rich, so poet Matt Harvey helped us with that – it’s very playful and inventive.
Being a touring production, do you ever mix the material up to keep things lively for the actors?
Absolutely. Although there is a lot of choreography, musical numbers and physical routines that require loads of skill and rehearsal, for us it’s really important to keep the whole thing light and fresh. So we always encourage our cast to keep the games alive, have an open mind and allow new things that happen during the shows to become part of the production for the future. The audience is always educating us.
Journey to the Impossible comes to The Lowry on Sat 25 & Sun 26 May. Book your tickets here.