Q&A/The Festival Sessions/Cabaret/Theatre

The end of the world, rock style

22 January 2020

What better way to tell a story about the end of the world than a rock’n’roll cabaret show with plenty of Ziggy Stardust and a nod to Nick Cave?

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Ragnarøkkr lead writer and performer St John Cowcher explains why he chose an apocalyptic theme for his 2020 Fringe World work.

Seesaw: St John, talk us through your career path to date.
St John Cowcher:
I’ve been working in the Perth theatre scene professionally for the last fifteen years, as a theatre maker, performer and puppeteer. I’ve been super lucky to travel the world and the country with amazing shows and companies, and even luckier to make my own shows and touring Fringe festivals for much of that time as well. I can’t wait to get stuck into Fringe again this year.

S: And tell us about your 2020 Fringe World show Ragnarøkkr?
Ragnarøkkr is a rock’n’roll cabaret show telling the story of the end of the world, told through a lens of Bowie era glam rock with a touch of Nick Cave gothic. It’s a rollicking story set to killer original rock music with an amazing live band, it’s gonna be a real good time.

S: What inspired you to make Ragnarøkkr?
I was inspired by the state of the world we find ourselves in, and by the capacity stories have to show us a way forward. I think we can learn a lot from the storytelling traditions from times beyond our own, either as a source of knowledge or even just a way to find comfort or solidarity that generations of people before us have felt like we do and have lived on in their myths and fables.

S: What made you decide to give Fringe World a whirl?
Fringe is a great time to explore and experiment, I’ve had this show rattling around in my head for a few years and I can’t think of a better place to bring it to the world than at Fringe. There’s just an excitement in the air whenever Fringe World rolls into Perth, why would we not want to jump right into the middle of that?

S: Aside from your show, what are you looking forward to seeing/doing at Fringe World 2020?
Oh there’s so much good stuff happening at the festival this year, almost too many shows to choose!

I’d have to say a lot of the shows on offer at The Blue Room Theatre look great (and we’re excited to share a venue with them) particularly The Bride by Nadia Collins who does exquisite clown work, Of Moonset because anything Stuart Bowden makes is always worth a look as he’s such a beautiful storyteller, and French Over by Rorschach Beast also looks like a super interesting time, with a stellar cast and creative team behind it. But so many others besides that, go take a punt on something random you might be pleasantly surprised.

Ragnarøkkr plays The Blue Room Theatre, 29 January – 8 February 2020, as part of The Blue Room Theatre’s Summer Nights program at Fringe World.

Pictured top: St John Cowcher, rehearsing with fellow cast members Joe Lui (left) and Gracie Smith (right).

“The Fringe Sessions” is an annual series of Q&A interviews with artists who will be appearing at Fringe World. Stay tuned for more!

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Author —
Nina Levy

Nina Levy has worked as an arts writer and critic since 2007. She co-founded Seesaw and has been co-editing the platform since it went live in August 2017. As a freelancer she has written extensively for The West Australian and Dance Australia magazine, co-editing the latter from 2016 to 2019. Nina loves the swings because they take her closer to the sky.

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