Interview: ANTS Theatre - Qrumpet

We went along to see ANTS Theatre's wonderful show Qrumpets last month at Camden People's Theatre (you can read our four star review here) and now it's heading to Brighton Fringe. The company have answered a few of our questions to whet your appetites, have a read below then rush to get your tickets to the crumpetiest (not a word) show at the fringe!


Quantum tunnelling? Crumpets? Clowning? Tell us a little bit about the show and where the ideas came from.

Paul:

Well, quantum tunnelling is fascinating stuff! And if we proved it…? Well - wouldn’t that be cool!? We usually start devising by bringing a “prompt” to the rest of the company to spark creative ideas. Sometimes it's a game; could be a song, or it could be a scientific theory where a wavefunction propagates through a potential barrier. This was Diana’s prompt, except it was a theoretical pizza that was thrown at a theoretical wall. And we thought, “imagine if we actually threw a pizza through a wall”. Suddenly we imagined an audience applauding as we stood, shocked, delighted, proud. The camera crews burst through the doors and, oh, what’s that? A Nobel Prize? Don’t mind if we do… As we began to set up our experiment, we changed a few fundamentals. Pizza became the nation’s favourite griddle bread. White lab coats became double denim. Science became clown. The rest is history.


You all studied together at CSSD - what made you want to make this style of work together?

Diana:

When we met each other, we had no idea what style of work would come out of our collaboration. We were put together in a group by our lecturers, who after thorough observation thought we would work well. At that point, we didn’t even know each other that well! Our first rehearsals were all about getting to know each other. We would bring games and prompts to the table, to see what we could spark in the rest… We played grandmother’s footsteps, we tried to fulfil impossible tasks and we entered the 2D world of flatland as part of our exploration! It was clear after a while that one of our company’s musts was to have fun, play and pursue pointed pointlessness.

Lu:

What was so special when we first met was that we simply didn’t have a style. We were all so different, but we all delighted in laughter. It’s an incredibly freeing feeling to trust in the act of laughter; if we’re laughing, something is happening! We can’t say what it is exactly, but it’s a sort of magic. That’s how we know when we’re onto something, when we all just sort of sit around and chuckle, lost in the ‘imagine if’s of the world we are creating.


What does the rehearsal room process look like for you?

Paul:

It's a combination of fun, circles, prompts and deep discussion. “Does it make sense to have cats streaming out of the pipe?? Let's give it a go!” We start with games to invoke playfulness - leaving our everyday by the door - not without a check-in of course. If we’re working on something particular, everyone is invited to contribute a prompt - something to test - or a “what if” idea. We play it through, analyse, scrutinise, logicify - and if it works - it’s in the show! Subject to change, of course…


Without spoiling anything, what’s your favourite part of the show?

Paul:

It’s got to be the massive 3m pipe hanging from the ceiling. What’s going to come out of it? Where does it lead to? What is on the other end? These are all questions that keep me up at night.

Lu:

For me, it’s when Paul turns his cap around. You’ll understand when you see it. It’s a true chef’s kiss moment.


If someone was on the fence about coming along, what would you say to them to get them to come and join the fun?

Diana:

If you don’t come for the fun, you must come for the science. According to our pseudoscientific sources, which we wholeheartedly believe, as long as we continuously throw crumpets at the wall and never stop, one will eventually go through to the other side. So, if you are on the fence, if you are not so sure of whether you would be entertained by watching us fail again and again… imagine the possibility of one actually making it through! Imagine you say no to this show to then find out that, that day, the day you told your friend you’d rather stay home, they witnessed the miracle.

Lu:

Why be on a fence when you could be on a comfy theatre seat, watching people slip on butter and having crumpets thrown at your head?

You’re going on tour! When can people catch QRUMPET and where can people buy tickets?

WE ARE OFF ON TOUR!!

Qrumpet can be caught at Brighton Fringe on 14-15 May (@3pm) and 26-27 May (@7.30pm), Cornerstone Arts Centre in Didcot on 8 June (@7.30pm) and Cheltenham Science Festival on 11 June (@12pm). Be there or be a square crumpet.


Lastly, and maybe most importantly, What do you have on your crumpets? (I’m a butter kinda guy myself)..


Paul:

Scientifically:

Recently, it’s been a lot of wall. But we’re hoping for better results soon.

Recreationally:

I feel PB+J reaches its full potential when matched with a perfectly toasted Crumpet.


For more information and to book tickets, head to the ANTS website here.