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Mick Stuart interview

We talk to the Limbo performer about the intriguing new show.

Mick Stuart

Limbo is part of the London Wonderground season at the Southbank Centre. Playing from 10th May to 29th September, the show features heart-stopping illusions, mind-bending manoeuvres, breathtaking dance moves and thrilling live music.

Recently we caught up with Mick Stuart, who is one of the musicians performing in Limbo at the Southbank Centre until September.

We found out about how the show was received in Australia, what audiences can expect from it, and what it’s like performing with a wide variety of artists from all over the world.

How did you come to be involved in Limbo?

While playing darts on the veranda, director Scott Maidment phoned me, and invited me to be a part of Limbo. I said, ‘Hell, yes.’

Were you part of the company during the Adelaide run? If so, how did Australian audiences take to it?

I was indeed, and Australian audiences ate it up and licked the bowl. We sold out every show and took out the ‘Pick of the fringe’ award and earned ourselves 5 star reviews. For me, it was like being whisked up into a tornado.

Can you tell us about the show and what can audiences expect from it?

Limbo is best left to speak for itself, but I can tell you that it involves a lot of very impressive physical theatre and skills. People can expect a myriad of unique acts that are world class, and music that will be nothing short of amazing and fresh and highly energetic! Weaved through it all, you’ll find an interesting narrative that leaves plenty for your own imagination also.

It’s recommended for ages 15+. Is it too hot for youngsters?

I wouldn’t say it’s too hot for youngsters, but don’t quote me on that, I was not your average youngster…

Have you performed at the Southbank Centre before? What do you make of the venue?

This is my first time, so far I am impressed with the vision and the nurturing of London arts.

Is this the first time you’ve collaborated with such an international company of performers?

No, in various musical scenarios I am frequently in the company of people who only understand one another through one common language; music. However, in the world of circus and theatre, this is definitely the most international troupe for me to be a part of to date, and I love it.

Mick Stuart

The show is called an exotic mixture of cabaret, circus, acrobatics, dance and music. As a musician, what’s it like working alongside a wide variety of performers?

For me, it’s fantastic. I’m in my element. I love to constantly re-define the concept of versatility, and what better environment to do that? I can think of nothing better, than to have my antenna up, eyes glued to someone flying through the air playing whichever instrument you give me, marking through their flight. I’m never short of ideas in this intoxicating and inspiring environment.

What sort of music will you play in the show?

Sxip Shirey, musical director and main composer, has brought his unique own genre ‘JANK’ to Limbo. It is a hybrid stew of hip hop, swing, experimental sounds and electronic mayhem.

How would you describe Sxip Shirey’s melodies?

Catchy. Memorable. Brilliantly accessible and obscure at times, and a joy to play. I hear folks singing these melodies while they cue for a drink after the show, and always different ones.

Tell us about the polymba – the musical instrument you designed. Where did the idea come from?

I bought one in a market, observed its simplicity, and being an avid maker of things, made one. One was not enough. So I made many, put guitar pick ups in them, and learned to play ‘it’, and ran away with the circus.

What genres of music mean the most to you and why?

They are all equal to me. Even if I don’t like a genre so much, I understand its influence on all of us on the grand scale.

Will you be part of Limbo until September? If so, do you have a holiday planned for afterwards?

I will indeed. Holiday? Well, knowing me, I’ll figure that out when I walk off the stage of the last show in September…

Limbo runs at the Southbank Centre until 29th September 2013. You can get tickets at http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/limbo-72429

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