Author, comedian, presenter, actor, musician and all round fab person Gretel Killeen is coming to Adelaide Fringe armed with two new productions.
The Love Love Klub presented by Gretel Killeen and The Gretskys is described as an “absolutely hilarious, ridiculous and joyful celebration of love and agony expressed through comedy, song, poetry, philosophy and interpretive dance” and focuses on the concept of love.
While The Zebra who Lost Its Spots – The Interactive Rehearsal is a growing, developing, living piece which will find its legs (and spots) here in Adelaide.
An interactive rehearsal of the modern fable The Zebra who Lost Its Spots, written by Killeen is about love, courage and difference and how absolute nutters get to rule the world.
Gretel says the Love Love Klub started as a small idea that grew to a production.
“It started because I was going to do our show this year and the first one was much bigger than we’d anticipated. I thought, oh, I’m going to have to have some pals on stage. So I coerced two friends into doing it, one of whom I used to busk with when I was 18 and one who I know because we were voice over artists. I forced them to join me and it just naturally evolved from there. We have had a rehearsal; our first rehearsal and we’ve all been absolutely stunned by our lack of talent,” she laughs.
“So I’m having to modify the approach somewhat. But art is interesting, I don’t notice this so much in my writing, but certainly in my singing, dancing and musical instrument playing; or in any painting or drawing, my style is actually determined by my limitations. Some things I do, I don’t feel limited in, but in other areas I do, so it actually forces me to be more creative. With a limited budget, I have to learn how to optimise things, which is an interesting challenge. I like that; problem solving.”
Despite self-confessed limitations, Gretel says Love Love Klub is a celebration of living.
“I think there’s a great deal of warmth in it recognising limitations, and this is what our show does. We’re doing it and being ridiculous and living, we are taking a risk and enjoying camaraderie; we’re giving joy. I think people love that. You know, in a world of being forced to aspire to perfection, I think humans like other qualities. Not the perfection but the participation,” she says.
And where better to celebrate living than in Adelaide, a city Gretel truly appreciates.
“I love the fact that the city participates in the festival; embraces it. It’s a beautiful city anyway, but once the vibe is there and you’re walking around and feeling people being adventurous with their discoveries, stepping into worlds they might otherwise not encounter, I like that,” she says.
“I think the boldness is not just in the performers, but in the bravery of audiences willing to experiment with something new as well. These are really wonderful qualities to be celebrated as our society reveres financial gain, but growth of the heart and mind has got to be more important. And sharing it, I love that. I love that we do it together. Adelaide is a beautiful city, it’s a welcoming city and there’s a particular vibe when there’s a festival on and it’s contagious.”
And on the topic of experimenting and being bold, Gretel is presenting an interactive rehearsal of her book, The Zebra Who Lost its Spots.
“I was really interested in the concept of difference, and the power of difference,” she says. “And how we are all forced to aim for some sort of some homogenisation. But what we actually miss out on in that pursuit. So this is a fable that I wrote, and the first version of it is published as a book, but its actually a script for a live show.
“Adelaide will be the first time we’re actually rehearsing, because I’d want to discover together what’s possible. I really like what could we do here. The audience becomes the cast. The book is a script; it’s the skeleton, but then I want to see what we add to it.”
Both the Love Love Klub and The Zebra Who Lost its Spots – Interactive Rehearsal are set to be great fun, particularly with Gretel at the helm.
By Libby Parker