Interview | Baby, Straylight

“I don’t have the right coloured boxers – can I borrow the ones you’re wearing?”
This was our first introduction to Doppelgangster Theatre, and boy did we not know what we had let ourselves in for.
They arrived like two bulls in a china shop, with bags full of energy and humour that was more than welcome after a long day of photoshoots. Straylight had been keen to interview them, as after every previous attempt we’d come away knowing their show was a) about a polar bear b) not much else.
After an hour of the most surreal photoshoot to date (I have never known someone to get naked to impersonate a polar bear) we finally got round to understanding a little more.
Doppelgangster are described as “An international performance company, currently responding to climate change, forced migration and globalisation.”They have just returned from Paris, where they were performing TITANIC as part of the PARIS ArtCOP21; A global festival of art and cultural activity on climate change.
They are clearly well informed, and have a passion for raising awareness using non-conventional methods. They have a clear focus of how they would like to be portrayed, but their energy and refusal to take themselves too seriously lends them an intriguing charisma.
They are punk, surreal and most definitely subversive.
The play is based on a true story, and follows the adventures of Dr. Thomas Barlow. Barlow was one of the few doctors in the frozen Arctic region and fought to bring aid to an isolated, virtually inaccessible Eskimo village devastated by plague. When he comes across a polar bear, the story evolves into a typical nature vs beast tale with devastating results.
I am instantly reminded of how similar this is to Leonardo Di Caprio’s new filmThe Revenant. The lads quickly quip they seem to be following Leo’s career for inspiration, given their previous show was called TITANIC.
The more we chat, the more I realise this is a show with many layers, with hints to the current migration situation in Syria, and the extremes people are being forced to endure to survive.
This is a show for the brave and the curious, be prepared to be shocked and leave with a new insight on some very important current issues.

Photography by Tean Roberts

Words by Mia Julyan

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