Alex Brockie is a midlands-based theatre maker whose play about a Mexican-wrestling star fallen on hard times, El Británico, is coming to theSpace this August. We sent Features Editor James T Harding to takedown some more information.
He is a bitter, twisted (no pun intended) little man who does not, under any circumstances, want anyone’s sympathy…
Tell us about the show.
The show is a gritty domestic drama about a former pro-wrestler from the UK (made it big in Mexico) whose career took him from rags to riches to rags again and left him confined to a wheelchair by the age of 30. He is a bitter, twisted (no pun intended) little man who does not, under any circumstances, want anyone’s sympathy… and this is the challenge the play sets for the audience - not to feel sorry for this piece of shit!
What drew you to Mexican wrestling as your subject matter?
I suppose the central character could have been any kind of fallen sports star who is now ‘disabled, destitute and descending into madness’ but I think that professional wrestling is just such a bizarre and interesting profession that it adds a uniquely quirky quality and texture to the piece.
The show toured briefly in the Midlands under the name Inferno Kid. What made you change the name for the Fringe?
The play was originally based on the life of a real person – someone who is still alive today. I wanted to distance the play as much as I could from the original source so as not to cause any unnecessary offence – the central character (in the play) is quite controversial and fundamentally unlikable.
How else has the show changed since you started performing it?
One thing I've learned through three years working on this play is that, in live art, everything is subject to change. Big changes, small changes... as the artist changes, the art changes. When we have our next rehearsal this play will probably change some more. I love it!
You're writing, directing and starring in the show (alongside actresses Kirstian Jayne Taylor and Siobhan Twomey). What challenges does this multiroling bring, and how are you going about overcoming them?
I am a writer and performer by choice but a director by necessity and therefore the challenge for me is certainly in the directing! I am naturally creative but sometimes (often) get carried away with ideas, however, I am fortunate that my cast are confident and grounded enough to tell me ‘no, that idea sucks’.
Outside of the Fringe you are an A-level and Undergraduate drama teacher. What are the best and worst things about this? Would you recommend that career path to others?
I do it because I love teaching and it helps pay the bills. I don’t teach full time – by choice – because I do not want to give up pursuit of my theatrical ambitions. I would recommend teaching to other artists provided they have the sufficient skill and passion for it.