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Interview with vaudevillian puppeteers Boris and Sergey

30 November 2013 | Charlie Kenber

"Boris locked himself in a broom cupboard and sniffed paint whilst I shouted at my puppeteers relentlessly"

This Christmas Theatre503 are rebelling against the normal commercialised Christmas fare. To mark the occasion we caught up with performers from two of the shows: in this edition it’s Boris and Sergey!

London Calling: What can you tell us about the show?

Sergey: The piece is a cross over cabaret with a vaudevillian edge. We have audience interaction, a Kate Bush rendition and our infamous Puppet Poker Pit! All hosted by myself and Boris…who are puppets.

Boris: Have you seen ‘Santa Clause the Movie’? It’s that meets ’28 Days Later’ meets ‘End of Days’.

LC: How did you go about making it?

Boris: I went into a dark place both mentally and physically and I didn’t come out for a very long time.

Sergey: Boris locked himself in a broom cupboard and sniffed paint whilst I shouted at my puppeteers relentlessly. It was a very smooth process, I rehearsed Boris in after his come down.

LC: Is it something of a rebellion against the traditional Christmas production?

Sergey: Yes it is exactly that, we believe Christmas is a commercial venture for big corporations about materialistic goods and money scams. Our show is all about people coming together, giving what they can and getting something back….We give them an hour show filled with laughter, malarkey and vaudevillian skits….they pay us…

Boris: (Boris stares into space clearly lost by the question humming the Coca Cola Christmas theme tune ‘Holidays Are Coming’)

LC: Who do you think the show appeals to?

Sergey: Anyone and Everyone

Boris: People who like naughty words, jokes that are funny and slightly offensive, eighties pop, serious gambling addicts, alcoholics, the homeless, anybody who has ever been in court, oh and the police are usually there to meet us after every show. A show for all the family.

Sergey: Yeah like the Manson Family.

LC: How did you get into creating this kind of work?

Sergey: We started at Theatre Delicatessen three years ago with a short 20 minute piece, Puppet Poker Pit, which features at the end of this show. People kept giving us money so we kept doing it, now people give us less money for a longer show so we’re all winners….

Boris: It was one of the conditions of our Parole, that we give something back to the world that we have taken so, so, so much from.

LC: How is it performing in a space like Theatre503?

Sergey: We like to be close to the audience, see the whites of their eyes, it relies on the audience. That is why we turned down the o2 arena it was too..what’s the word….big

Boris: Wait! Did you say space? Wow that’s uber cool, i’ve always wanted to perform in space. I think it will be like George Clooney and Sandra Bullock in that new comedy set in space.

LC: What have you got planned for the New Year?

Boris: I will be recording an album with Michael Bolton. He doesn’t know it yet but i’ve followed him home for the past few weeks and have worked out several places in which I could kidnap him. I spent most of the autumn building a recording studio in the shed for him to live in.

Sergey: THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE…I jest. We will be travelling to Australia for the Adelaide Fringe in February and have a busy schedule in January. Only then will I activate the doomsday machine… #worlddomination

TICKET COMPETITION! We have an exclusive opportunity to win a pair of tickets for the show. Offer closes at midnight on 11th December, so sign up now!

Boris and Sergey’s Vaudevillian Xmas Adventure is on from 10th December until 11th January at Theatre503. Tickets available here.

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