“As they are interrogated by an expert, five friends of Peter King wonder why he chose to end his own life, and how they can now continue.
A fictional story based on the recollections of real people, Wasp is an exploration of contemporary mental illness, and whether those who knew Peter in real life can ever find an answer for his death.”
Ella Rowdon and Felix Brown bring their show Wasp to Camden Fringe (5-7 August, Camden People’s Theatre). Read on for more details from writer/director Ella!
Tell me about your Camden Fringe show! What’s it all about?
Wasp is about five people who are being interviewed by a Mind and Matter Expert – make of that what you will – about the loss of their friend, student and brother Peter, who committed suicide. They each have different relationships with Peter, which you get to see through their memories, but also significantly different perspectives on the matter. It is certainly moving, uplifting, funny at times and thought-provoking: definitely.
What’s the best thing about being part of a festival like this?
The best thing about being part of this festival has been meeting other creatives; actors, writers and directors who have created work that is vulnerable, empowering, and very brave! It has also been wonderful to have the opportunity to put our work on a London stage – which, to be honest, I never thought we would be able to do this year. Camden Fringe and Camden People’s Theatre have made it easy, accessible and a friendly experience for us.
What has your company been up to over the part year of theatre recovery?
Our show has been rebuilt entirely this year after our tour was cancelled in 2020. Fortunately, we were able to put Wasp on before lockdown at a theatre in Norwich, and we had sold out shows and very encouraging reactions from audience members. This propelled us forward through the two years of lockdown, and made us determined to bring Wasp back. Since then, a lot of our actors and crew had moved away, so it became a very different show this year, and we are very proud of what we have accomplished.
We have all since moved on to different jobs, different cities; finished dissertations, been a part of other projects, and grown as artists. We put Wasp on at our University, which had initially inspired the writing of Wasp, and decided to experiment with Pub Theatre, which is notorious in London but not so much in Norwich. It has been an aspiration of the writer and director to make theatre more accessible, and it was our goal to reach a wider demographic! We certainly got a lot of younger people and older alike.
Since then, we put Wasp on at a theatre, and planned to take it to London this summer, despite many hurdles and obstacles we have had to overcome!
Do you have further plans for the show after the Camden Fringe? Or other shows in other spaces?
Our plans for Wasp are to hopefully have other opportunities to perform it in the near future, and we would also be interested to see if Wasp could work for a radio play, or even for a mini-series on the screen! This would be a dream.
Let’s finish on a one liner. Why should I come to see Wasp?
Because you won’t have seen anything like it before. It is authentic, and says things people won’t say aloud.