Interview with the surreal, sketch, circus troupe Laser Kiwi

"We accidentally performed in a strip club in Canada... We thought it was going to be a variety show. I think we got paid $8 profit share and were slow clapped onstage by a father and son duo who were definitely not our target market."

Interview with the surreal, sketch, circus troupe Laser Kiwi

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

Hello! We are Laser Kiwi the world's only surreal, sketch, circus troupe! 

We’re from Wellington, New Zealand & within our trio, we have one couple, and two siblings - so the stakes are high. We made our first shows together in 2014 & we've been working together as a trio pretty full time since then. 

How would you describe your show?

It's a celebration of ideas. We take ideas that don’t seem like they would work and make them sing! 

We perform a unique concoction of kiwi comedy and surprisingly high-level circus. Earlier this year this show won us the ultimate award for 'Best Circus' at Fringe World – telling you this not to brag but because we'd really love people to come watch and we hear having awards help.

What is your favourite part of your show?

When the whole crowd swears at Zane.

If your show had a theme song, what would it be and why?

Pavarotti - Nessun Dorma... there's a moment in the show... it's iconic.

What is one thing you hope audiences will take away from your show?

To take life a little less seriously. 

If you could add a surprise celebrity cameo to your show, who would it be and why?

George Ezra, apparently Zane looks just like him, so he could sub in and out and Zane can take a break.

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

Edinburgh is such a beautiful city, it is a pleasure to spend a month there! Also the festival is an absolute melting pot of incredible shows, it's special to be part of that energy and vibe!

What differentiates it from other festivals?

It is just an absolute monster (in a good way) and you have to focus walking down the street so you don’t break your ankles. 

What is one thing you would change about the Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

Ban flyering, it's a waste of everyone's life, and paper.

How has your background, upbringing and education had an impact on your artistic career?

We all grew up doing circus and at various points as part of a youth circus, so that very directly feeds into the circus elements of our shows.

Zane and Degge both have design degrees which have factored into the way we think about props and iterating ideas.

Also, as a trio we each bring so different things to the table, skills and perspectives, so the process of finding common ground and exploring a concept together has taken us to some interesting places!

I think we were all raised to work hard and follow our intuitions.

What is your favourite thing about performing for a live audience?

When they surprise you! Oooooh it keeps it fresh

What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you while performing?

When Zane's cock sock slipped off (different show). Ooh and the time we were performing at a festival in Australia, it was super hot in the tent and 5 minutes into the show one of the speakers caught on fire. We finished the show with the audience singing the soundtrack acapella style. 

What's the most challenging or unconventional venue you've ever performed in, and how did it impact the overall experience?

We accidentally performed in a strip club in Canada... We thought it was going to be a variety show. I think we got paid $8 profit share and were slow clapped onstage by a father and son duo who were definitely not our target market.

We also created a show on a floating steam powered crane boat. The scale of it was immense! The audience was gathered on the wharf. Incidentally, the ship was made in Glasgow. 

Is there a piece of feedback you've received from an audience member or critic after a performance that’s stuck with you?

An elderly woman who came up to us and hit us on the head with her walking stick 'I've never laughed so much at nothing' - I don’t think anyone has ever summarised our show so well.  

What is your favourite thing to do in Edinburgh when you're not performing? How do

you relax and look after your mental health?

Cooking a nourishing meal is really grounding for us, makes us feel at home and slows the pace down.

Is there a show you’re excited to see when you’re up there?

Yes, so many! We have already seen it on the road but loved it so much we want to see it again… “Party Ghost” 

What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone thinking about taking a show up to Edinburgh? 

To know why you're coming. There are so many different ways to 'succeed' and 'fail' at this immense festival, so have a clear intention, do your best, and try keep things in perspective.

When and where can people see your show?

7:50 at Assembly Roxy Central 2nd - 27th August (not the 14th)

And where can people find you online?

You can find us on instagram @laserkiwi and facebook @laserkiwi_

Header Image Credit: Aden Meser

Author

Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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