Preview: Scary Old World

A completely unique dystopian sketch show running at the ADC theatre from November 28th-29th

Onboard a mysterious cruise ship harbouring what remains of humanity, things are not as they seem. Protagonist, an inhabitant of the lower decks of the ship, discovers a terrible secret that leads him on a quest to find the Navigator and to stop societal collapse.

This light-hearted premise provides a framing device for a brand new narrative sketch show that will weave together different sketches into a riveting adventure.

Photo credits: Anna Mahtani

Interview with Director, Anna Mahtani 

The process of creating the piece was one of Mahtani’s favourite parts of her work. She described the experience as “an odd and enriching process, working together on giving each sketch its own space while making it fit into the wider narrative.” She went on to say Scary Old World is “Somewhat in the vein of devised work”, with  “recurring characters [that] have emerged through the process of rehearsal.”

As well as this, she described how the actors themselves enriched the creation of the show: “It’s always fantastic to work with incredible comic actors, but seeing people new to the scene consistently one-upping themselves makes it all the more exciting.”

The genre of this piece is certainly unusual for the ADC, making it a must-watch. Mahtani explained the mix of comedy and dystopia as a “closely-observed comedy of humour and relationships at the very edge of humanity which gives the perfect contrast to an increasingly dystopian reality.”

She elaborated further by adding, “Ranging from dystopian to sci-fi satire, the show follows Protagonist’s ascent through the ship in desperate search for the truth. But as he rises through the decks, Protagonist encounters the weird and unsettling, confronting what exactly it is he’s hoping to save.”

Mahtani insisted that much of the final product is down to the creativity of the multiple writers, who “have fantastically worked together in creating individual sketches, and later weaving them into an overarching story, that audiences will be able to enjoy each sketch, informed by the larger structure and characters of the tale.”

When asked what the audience should expect, she replied “I’d like audiences to be confronted with the weird, uncanny and downright disturbing, and realize just how much sketch comedy still has to offer.”

Describing the show in a couple of sentences, Mahtani said “Rejecting the outright whacky, Scary Old World insists on a darker, dystopian tone. Combining physical comedy, dark humour and even the odd projection, the show guarantees the uncomfortable laughter of a captive audience.”

“It’s a scary old world out there, and hopefully here, you’ll find something even scarier…”

Photo credits: Anna Mahtani

Interview with Actor, Jenny Cyffin-Jones

Writer/actor Cyffin-Jones was happy to talk about her experience working on the show. She described how it “has been an absolute blast. Before the project I had never worked on a narrative sketch show, and the process of writing sketches that weave into an engaging over-arching sci-fi narrative has been so much fun.”

Firstly, she talked about her experience as a first-time writer for a team: “As someone who usually just writes stand-alone sketches, having to consider key narrative plot-points and recurring characters when writing the sketches was an exciting challenge. It’s been a very collaborative process since day one and I’m so proud of the script we’ve written together.”

Now, she has mainly switched from writing to acting during the run-up to the show. She enthusiastically explained that “Rehearsals are now in full swing and they’ve been so much fun! I’ve had a ball choreographing the physical comedy with the rest of the cast and crew and shooting the filmed segments of the show. Everyone has put in so much creativity and effort to this project and I can’t wait for the audience to finally see it!”

Certainly unique to the Cambridge theatre scene, any avid theatre-goers won’t want to miss this.

‘Scary Old World’ is playing in the ADC from November 28th-29th.

Buy your tickets here.

Poster designed by Ayesha Murphy Jallali


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