Credit: The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

Drunk Lion

A surreal and absurd comedy, which turns one man's life experiences into a fantastical show.

Venue: Laughing Horse @ The Newsroom (Venue 93)
How did you come up with the idea for Drunk Lion?
"I lived in a small town in southern Mexico for 3 years from 2005-2008, and while I was there I would visit many of its amazing cantinas. And there were lot of drunks there, naturally, and many of these places had never had a gringo enter them before, so people started to talk to me, a lot. They told me everything really, about their lives, regrets, advice, and the whole time I was learning Spanish so I really, really listened. Next, I was in a marketplace called Tepito in Mexico City that is very notorious as being dangerous, a friend brought me there. In the marketplace there was this video, really horrific, being shown to anyone, of a lion entering a room and mauling a man. I was shocked, really, we were very far into the marketplace. But this image of the lion, and the man in the room, stuck with me. These two combined…I got = Drunk Lion."
Can you take us through a bit about what to expect from the story line?
"Drunk Lion starts from the beginning, really, about me ‘releasing’ a lion from its cage and this lion invites me to a cantina. The story takes off from there, it turns out the Lion is in love with the cook at my Home stay family, her name is Juanita, he has missed her for many years and wants to reunite. I become an unlikely connection for the Lion to this woman he still pursues. Interspersed in the main story are breaks from the action, contemplations about lions, jokes, directly addressed to the audience. Together, it all really finds the heart of a ‘Drunk Lion.’"
Is some aspects of the story drawn from your own life experiences?
"Although it is very surreal, the entire story is drawn from my real life. I lived with a Mexican family for a full year in Chiapas, and my home stay father Javier is a character in the story, the cook Juanita (who worked at the house) is in the story, and the town of Chiapa de Corzo itself is featured in the story. Every part of the play has some truth based in it, although it can become very absurd, surreal, and comic."
Is the show mainly comic, or are there also some sad moments?
"At this point it’s mainly comic, but with a sort of absurd premise, it is about meeting a lion after all. There are tragic undertones. My favorite quote from a reviewer in New Orleans that sums it up: “Hilarious as it is tragic, poignant as it is absurd.” It really runs the gambit, but overall it’s a comedy."
What can we expect from the show regarding costume and props? Is the lion symbolically represented through aspects of clothing or will you actually be wearing a lion costume?
"The only props are 3 beers. That’s it. The lion is manifested through the face, body movement, hands, so on, but there is no lion costume nothing like that. It’s a real acting challenge but so many plays can be done with very little, the minimalism actually helps the show achieve its goal of exploring the Drunk Lion. "
Drunk Lion obviously has some surreal aspects, but is there also a more real world message to the play?
"Definitely, the play contemplates some of life’s biggest, most universal themes, ranging from mortality to loneliness to love to not understanding the world at all, it really has a bit to say about all of it, and talks openly with the audience about these ideas."
Finally what can we most look forward to from Drunk Lion?
"A very well-directed 60 minutes of a type of show that is unique, in the sense that you will never see a show quite like this one. In its simplicity it is very complex. Many people that watch it are enraptured for that entire 60 minutes, there’s very, very few pauses, and the story moves fast, painting a picture of an entire small town down to depicting a conversation with a true, Dunk Lion. It’s a great show to that will make you think about some things in your life, but also leave you entertained and satisfied."

Laughing Horse @ The Newsroom (Venue 93)
5-11 Leith Street
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