Interview with Luke Murphy – Villains – Dublin Fringe Festival
We had the chance to put some questions to Luke Murphy ahead of the opening of Villains in the Dublin Fringe Festival. Luke is both the choreographer and one of the performers in the piece. It opens this week as part of the Dublin Fringe Festival at the Project Arts Centre. you can see the results below.
Villans – 8-13 September (Preview 7 September) – Project Arts Centre (Space Upstairs)
This piece has been described as a live graphic novel. Tell me about the inspiration for the work?
It’s always tough to figure out where an idea comes from – lots of places at once I think… Superman, Bladerunner, Highlander, Heat, Cowboy Bebop, Akira, Metropolis…Visually and stylistically we ran across a whole gamut of references and imagery. Over the last couple of years it feels like every time I read the news everything’s totally stranger than fiction, the extremity of events and reactions are all so much larger than life – so it seemed like the best way to look at it was through the most heightened form of fiction I could find so we turned to comic books.
Have you always read graphic novels? Which ones do you particularly like?
I think it’s a bit of a mix, I wouldn’t be too well read but I’ve probably gone through more in the last two years since I started working on this project – Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, and Mike Carey and Peter Gross have a really clever series called The Unwritten that I like a lot, DC’s Kingdom Come is great, Rick Remender and Jerome Opena’s Uncanny X-Force series is brilliant, The Watchmen, Batman: The Man Who Laughs and many more.
Artist David Fishel also works on this project. How did this collaboration come about? How would you describe his work?
I’ve worked with David now on three projects, he’s a director and filmmaker in New York and has a lot of experience collaborating in live performance. We originally met after a showing of a duet I was making in 2011/12 and he said he’d be interested in working together, and it was just a great fit. David’s got a great eye and sense of time in his work so we work well together because we both have a strong focus on how rhythm effects how people take in information. For this project he’s leading a team of three animators so it’s been a really exciting collaboration. It all looks class.
This work has a multi-screen installation. How difficult is it to coordinate the various elements? Does it require much more rehearsal than a traditional production?
It’s a nightmare! Yes it’s really tough. I wanted the show and the elements to be really fully integrated, so that takes a lot of time outside of the studio to be able to come in each day with as much in place as possible. The positive is that I think we run between mediums in a really organic way, the negative is that you’re reliant on components that you don’t have access to all the time which is a bit nerve-wracking. It’s not so much that it took much more time to actually assemble the work but there was a long research and development period and the hours outside the studio were much longer.
What other productions are you looking forward to in the Fringe Festival?
Ah so many, it’s a great programme this year! Lauren-Shannon Jones and Samantha Cade’s Fetch, Eddie Peake’s On Spirals Part 3, Eva O’Connor & Hildegard Ryan’s Afloat, Rachel Ni Bhraonain’s Losing Your Body, Headonbody’s Soup, Lucia Kickham’s Init: The Warm Up Project – there are loads more too!