To prepare for imminent alien arrival on Earth, citizens are required to attend a very important workshop, We Are Not Alone, 20-21 August and 27-28 August at Hen and Chickens.
It is led by astrobiologist Dr Alex Parker and military specialist Captain Reynolds – to Alex, encountering a new life form is an amazing adventure, to Reynolds, it’s an unspecified threat.
We know nothing about the aliens and all they know about us is the information attached to space probe Voyager on the Golden Record, produced in 1977. Things have changed quite a lot since then…
Kate Webster, of My Own Private Submarine, said: “The show is set in the near future on the basis that we have made first contact with aliens and they are on their way.
“The government is holding a series of workshops so that everyone can find out what to expect from aliens. The astrobiologist and the military specialist are very opposite people. The first is very excited because he has been waiting his whole life for this, the second is saying ‘Go for the eyes, the knees, the soft bits’.
“It is about aliens but it is not about aliens. It is about how people react to the unknown and who we empathise with and who we don’t. We have two characters who are very different and then we see them swap roles and possibly we may get an audience member to step in, in a very structured way with a clipboard.”
The aliens in the photograph above were created in the Ukraine and Kate bought them on the internet. “When you think about aliens everything is a bit sinister and creepy.
“I wanted something fun, because of the tone of the show and one of the themes is why have you decided that the thing you don’t know about is frightening and horrible. There is no reason to think that it is. It might be lovely.”
My Own Private Submarine has produced The Gentlemen of Horror, The Universal (about quantum physics), Laughter on the Brian and Helen and the Space Rocket (also performed as part of the inaugural London Science Festival) at the Camden Fringe, as well as Being Elvis, Seven Spies at the Casino and Closing Time at the Edinburgh Fringe.
With all this interest in science does Kate have a scientific background?
“No, it is all Robin Ince’s fault! I am very much an English and humanities person. I gave up science at GCSE. Then I saw too much Robin Ince and thought ‘This is great!’ On his show I saw a cosmologist called Marcus Chown and I read his book. I had to read it three times. It was pretty much at the level of me drawing diagrams and taking pictures and tweeting them to him and saying ‘is this right?’.”
Kate works at a students union in London and lives in Edmonton. The first show she produced at Edinburgh was The Crucible, while she was a student.
“It was a logistical nightmare and it needed a set. It cost a fortune and there were far too many people. It was a baptism of fire but I learnt what not to do. Everything I have done after that has been minimum number of actors and no set. Then I wrote a version of Canterbury Tales.”
Originally from Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire, Kate used to run an outdoor theatre company in Manchester for a while, Midsummer Actors. “It was really fun but doing outdoor theatre in Britain, how much of a masochist are you? We did Macbeth and it rained every night for six weeks, wherever we happened to be.
“There was one night on the Wirral when we were doing it round a quarry, which was already a pretty dramatic location. Then there was a severe weather warning for the whole of Merseyside and it was lashing down, windy, and lightning. We had big metal lights!”
We Are Not Alone is informative and fun, suitable for anyone 12 and over, who wants to know how to greet an alien. See it before it goes on tour.
Reviews of previous productions:
“infectiously enthusiastic geekiness….tremendous fun and a great way to learn things” Camden Voyeur
“sweet, honest and sad without being cheesy” Everything Theatre
“fun, goofy and always fascinating” Snipe London
“a lot of research went into this show and it shows….well-written, entertaining and sweet” Londonist
For more details and to buy tickets www.camdenfringe.com