Mr. and Mrs. Alexander: Sideshows & Psychics
Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre (8426 Gateway Blvd.) August 15, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23
More information: rollickingentertainment.com
An interview with Lizzie Tollemache
Describe your show in five words.
Magic, mindreading and sideshow stunts!
Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?
Against a background of sailors, gold miners and fur traders, two entertainers rose through the ranks of colonial New Zealand… before disappearing without a trace. This is the story of Mr and Mrs Alexander’s very last show, told while performing the infamous acts that made them famous.
Your show features a lot of tricks and illusions – which is your favourite to perform?
Absolutely it does! My favourite is probably the first one I learnt- The Human Blockhead. I hammer four inch nails into my face right in front of the audience. People assume it’s a magic trick… its not. Those nails are real! Make sure you sit up the front for a good view if you don’t believe me.
You mention that the creative process involved accidental hypnosis – sounds like there’s a story there! Can you tell us about it?
Oh heavens, yup! In Ottawa we had a very impressionable lady up onstage to assist David sending me into a trance where I stop my pulse. Instead of listening to the instructions directed at HER, she listened to those directed at ME… And completely went under. Like, unconscious, fully under. We brought her back fine, she had no idea what had happened and the audience thought it was part of the show!
Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?
Very important- we are presenting psychic illusion through combinations of misdirection, psychology, showmanship and the power of suggestion. We do not claim supernatural powers. We cannot talk to your dead family. Anyone who tells you they can… Well, be very very careful. Our industry is full of secret techniques designed to fool you, please be wary of people who take it beyond entertainment into scam artist territory.
Bonus question: Any names you want to drop who have been involved in your show (Edmonton arts people or otherwise)?
Absolutely!! Robbie Ellis composed the score for the show using our props as percussion (so cool). Nick White did our visual design. The photographer for all our promo, mercy and posters was by Nick Taylor, and our director was Mike Friend. They are all super cool.
The 33rd Edmonton International Fringe is August 14 – 24. Get your tickets at tickets.fringetheatre.ca