Daniel Cainer: 21st Century Jew
6th - 30th Aug 2015, 1.00pm
Brand new stories-in-song from this award-winning master songwriter. Fringe favourite Cainer explores the challenges and contradictions of being Jewish in 21st century Britain. A show for anyone who has ever wrestled with their heritage, their history, their home and their heart... Jewish or not.
What inspired this production: did you begin with an idea or a script or an object?
It began (as all my work does) with a prayer to the God of Songwriting. There may not be one of course but it suits me to call it that and my wife is not so keen on me having a muse (that isn’t her). I ask ‘What do you want me to write’ and nine times out of ten…. nothing happens. But let’s not try and lay a rational cause and effect model on to this process. He/She/It moves in mysterious ways his/her/its wonders for me to perform.
Why bring your work to Edinburgh?
You get a lot of agony and ecstasy for your money. And I am addicted.
What can the audience expect to see and feel - or even think - of your production?
They will hopefully come away feeling better about the human condition than they came in. They’ll hear some intriguing stories, some wicked wordplay and some memorable tunes. They’ll laugh, they’ll cry, they’ll even sing. And most people complain to me that have an ‘ear worm' of one songs for weeks (even years) afterwards.
The Dramaturgy Questions
How would you explain the relevance - or otherwise - of dramaturgy within your work?
I would call it story-telling. Just like a complex machine is really the combination of much smaller ones and how they interact. So you lay out your breadcrumb trail if you will and take the long and winding route to your finale. But at every twist and turn there is a call-back or a reference. At the end of my current show the breadcrumbs lead to an actual bagel. How’s that for dramatic resolution?
What particular traditions and influences would you acknowledge on your work - have any particular artists, or genres inspired you and do you see yourself within their tradition?
I’m a just songwriter that has given himself permission to expand the form a bit. And then pay attention to the integrity of the narrative that joins them together. Although I must admit that this year’s show is less narrative driven than those I’ve done in the past. My influences are all the great songs with great lyrics that I’ve ever heard. And I always took a guilty pleasure in slightly end-of the-pier material too.
Do you have a particular process of making that you could describe - where it begins, how you develop it, and whether there is any collaboration in the process?
See question 1 above
What do you feel the role of the audience is, in terms of making the meaning of your work?
Validation. Roar of the greasepaint, smell of the crowd. It may not change anyone’s life but we share a moment. It’s palpable. Plus, who doesn’t like a good old sing-song?
Are there any questions that you feel I have missed out that would help me to understand how dramaturgy works for you?
I’d be better off asking you how dramaturgy works for me I think ;)