Barnstaple's Fringe Theatre Festival
June 25th-28th 2015

Fooligan: How To Be Happy

Ichinen Sanzen Productions

stand-up theatre
age 16+
strong language
60 mins

My name is Eric and I'm a fool.

I once changed my name to Zero None-Of-The-Above and stood in a general election as an official 'none of the above' box. Just 'cause I could.

So what is a fool?

A jester who is the trusted confident of the king?

A clown who never learns from their mistakes, yet somehow finds improbable solutions?

A trickster, come to wake you up from your complacent sleep, to make you realise what you were neglecting?

or

A wise fool living outside of convention, warning you of the insanity of normality?

Or the description I prefer is

A fool is any man, woman or child who, at any point in his or her life, was labeled as an outcast, an abnormal individual, one who did not fit in within the confines of his or her peer circle.

Add this to the term Hooligan which represents a loose label used by those in higher authority to undermine the power and energy of the youth.

And you make a Fooligan.

A youthful outcast who doesn't fit in with the "cool" kids and is oppressed by the powers of authority.

Which is fine by me because I'm currently 49, like my local bus.

I hope you will come to my show.

This is what its called

FOOLIGAN: HOW TO BE HAPPY

And this is what it is

PlayMaker Eric Mutch aka FOOLIGAN presents an improvised one man show that will show you "How To Be Happy".

Or your money back!!!

"Passionate, Achingly-Honest, Ranting, Touching, Sensitive, Real, Mr Ordinary Man, Exposed, Conscientious, Freedom Fighter, Parodist and Parent"

Life Is Eternal. Who Did You Get This Time?

I'm BIG into the idea of paying everyone an Unconditional Basic Income, as well as getting people to think about money as a concept, what it is, how it works, and so my shows and workshops usually have this pricing structure.

10 on the door

Or

Pay what you think its worth at the end

Or

For those whose time, skills and passions are not currently validated by our monetary system. I validate you. I welcome and value any contribution of those hours, skills and passions instead. No offer rebuffed. Just because you don't have any currency money, doesn't mean you are not as valuable as everyone else. Surprise me.

However that's not the pricing structure for this show at the Barnstaple Fringe, so maybe it was a bit foolish of me to write that bit.

Anyway, the key to being a fool is becoming fully present in the moment and believing that everyone is a creative, spontaneous theatre maker, its just that some people are more blocked than others.

But, if you only water the flowers, the weeds will die away on their own.

I work with permission and affirmation as opposed to criticism.

I never allow reviewers into my shows. I am an artist, reviews serve no purpose in my creative process, at least not the sort of reviews that are common place in the theatre "industry".

I work with feedback based on asking my audience

"what did I do that you wanted me to do more of?"

"What part of my performance touched you?"

"What did you objectively notice?"

Obviously people are completely entitled to their subjective opinions, heaven forbid everyone loves what I do.

But their subjective opinions are of no use to my creative process.

If all this sounds a bit trite and sickeningly new age positive thinking, fear not, you should see my critic on the stage, he's a very destructive, horrible bastard. But without an antagonist, where's the drama?

After all, life is a charade of masks and melodramas, not to be taken too seriously.

Mind you I do think we should use our art, our lives to inspire.

And to lead a life in which we are inspired and can inspire others, our hearts have to be alive; they have to be filled with passion and enthusiasm. To achieve that, we need the courage to "live true to ourselves" And to live true to ourselves, we need the strength of mind not to be swayed by our environment or be obsessed with vanity and superficial appearances.

Rather than borrowing from or imitating others, we need the conviction to be able to think for ourselves and to take action from our own sense of responsibility.

As Mark Thomas once told me "never do what you think the audience want you to do"

Amazing what comes from a single moment of life isn't it.

A lot longer than I intended to write.

If you read this far, thank you and hopefooly see you in my audience soon.

Eric AKA Fooligan x

Twitter: @eric_mutch