Gonzo Moose are returning to Oxford with Great Scott!: The true story of Captain Scott and the aliens from outer space. We talk to Mark Dawson, co-writer and performer in the show, to find out what they have in store.
For those new to Gonzo Moose shows, can you tell us what they can expect?
“The best way to explain our shows is as knock about comedies. If you have ever seen a Morecambe and Wise show, they are reminiscent of the swashbuckling often historically based roman epic or french revolution sketches they used to do at the end with their special guest. Like those Morecambe and Wise pastiches, our shows are often swashbuckling adventures but with the added element of crossing them with movie genres. So with Great Scott! we present a sci-fi spoof set in the world of Captain Scott expeditions.”
How is this show different to past Gonzo Moose shows?
“Its a similar formula in that its an epic adventure with 3 actors playing multiple roles, fast moving action with lots of costume changes but this time we’ve added some different story telling devices. Its told from the perspective of conspiracy theorists which we are using to frame the action and we’re using puppetry much more than before which will add a whole new element.”
What can you tell us about the story?
“It all about debunking the legend and myth around Captain Scott and uncovering the truth.”
What are you most looking forward to about taking Great Scott! on the road?
“Its exciting to make a new show, its our first since 2012, and seeing how it will be received. We also will be featuring shadow puppetry and a puppet alien that will be interesting to see how that will work in telling our alternative story of Captain Scott’s final expedition.”
What have been the challenges of working on the show?
“While using puppetry is an exciting prospect, it will also be challenging to work out how to use it effectively but one that I’m looking forward to. Another challenging prospect is how to make conspiracy theories funny but rest assured we will!”
Tell us about your inspiration for this show – how did you come up with the idea?
“A year or so ago a Facebook friend posted something about 9/11 and the conspiracy theory that the US government was behind it. I found it fascinating that they believed in this theory so strongly that nothing I could say would change their minds. Then I did some research into the crazy world of conspiracy theories, for example that the moon landing was faked, that we are all being poisoned by the floride in the tap water etc. that way people jumped to these unfathomable and far fetched theories and believed in them so strongly was interesting. Then I looked for some context and decided on the historical figure of Captain Scott, he is a fascinating figure and one that amazingly has no exisiting conspiracy theories linked to him. So in Great Scott! we set about doing just that.
Captain Scott is also a fascinating character in that he was seen as a hero then later more of a bungler who’s mistakes caused the disastrous end of his ill-fated expedition. We wanted to make him the hero again.”
Finally tell us something about Captain Scott that people might not know.
His expeditions were funded by the National Geographic Society and it was on his final mission that rocks and fossils he collected that proved that Antarctica was once part of an ancient super-continent named Gondwanaland (now Gondwana) which also included Australia, Africa and South America. An amazing discovery.”
Great Scott! is at the Old Fire Station on Friday 6 May at 7.30pm. Ages 8+. Tickets: £12, £10 from www.ticketsoxford.com or 01865 305305.