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Josh Glanc - manfül at Adelaide Fringe 2017

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by Tema (subscribe)
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After winning several Adelaideans' hearts last year with his cult smash hit "99 Schnitzels", Josh Glanc is back at the Adelaide Fringe this year with another comedy show that exemplifies the idea of an "American beefcake", with a hyper-masculine and image-conscious one-man show - manfül.

As part of an Adelaide Fringe-arranged media meet up with the various artists who are performing at the festival, I had the opportunity to have a chat with Josh, who agreed to an interview. While his show won't be premiering till the 28th of February, it is important to appreciate the story behind the concept of the show that has already tapped my curiosity.

Promo photo (Courtesy: Official Facebook page)

Who's involved in the production and creation of your show?

​Devising and creating a solo show can be really isolating and hard without outside help. Luckily, I have a group of friends and performers who continually give their time to help with my shows.

I used to be a lawyer...well, technically I still am. But, I used to practice law full time. This gave me the chance to regularly collaborate with two friends from the legal community in Melbourne who are exceptionally creative - Max Paterson and Darryl Slabe. Additionally, Jo Zealand (an Adelaide performer) is also incredibly giving of her time and is great to play with.

For Manfül, I was fortunate to work with Deanna Fleysher (aka Butt Kapinski who is performing at the Garden). Deanna came in after I already had a first version of the show and helped me come up with what it was I wanted to say with the show, who the character was and helped me with the physicality aspect of it.

Tom Velvick from Dead Man, my producer has also helped creatively and with the production of the show. ​There are countless others. When you are creating new work, it can be really hard and a lot of performers are very generous with their time and suggestions on how to make it better.

How you came up with the concept for your show?

My previous show was a one-man sketch with lots of characters. This time around, I knew I wanted to do something different. Manfül is about a guy from the US of A who launches a health supplement ​to turn "dweebs" into real men. I really liked the idea of the audience walking into something that is already framed:

For example - a show that is framed as a seminar or a talk or a launch. I wanted to create a show where the audience comes in and to a world that has been established for them.

I also wanted to create a show with one character and have that character unravel in front of an audience or go through some type of transformation. I love shows like that - where a character comes out saying that they are one thing but it starts to become apparent that maybe they are not, and we slowly try and work out who this person is that we are watching on stage.

I also was interested in hyper masculinity. Big guys with big muscles because that is something that I find very foreign to me and something that I've got a bit of a complex about so I thought it would be interesting to look at my own relationship to my masculine and Jewish identity.

Promo poster: Manfül (Photo courtesy: Adelaide Fringe)

Is this your first time at the Adelaide Fringe? What do you think about it so far? What are you expecting from it?

I was part of the Adelaide Fringe last year, where I performed in the last two weeks and wished I had arrived earlier when the festival began. Now that I'm here, I'm only performing for 3 weeks. Here's hoping I perform for the entire season next time round! The show is still relatively new so I just want to perform it as much as possible and be able to think about changing and adapting it based on the feedback I get.

What is your target audience?
8203;People who love silly and sad comedy. People who love music and dancing and high energy shows that are fun and thoughtful. I love stupidity but I also love dark and sad theatre, so the aim has been to try and incorporate both elements.

How did you get involved with the Adelaide Fringe?
8203;I did my first show 99 Schnitzels (Veal Ain't One) in 2015 at the Melbourne Fringe. Monica from the Artist team was in town, saw the show and told me to do Adelaide Fringe. I hadn't really considered it until we spoke. Performing arts and theatre were all very new for me.

Where else have you taken your show?
8203;Manfül is a new show. I did a brief run of it at Melbourne Fringe where it was lucky enough to be nominated for best comedy. I also did some stuff from the show at Falls Festival, but the version of the show I'm doing now is very new.

Promo photo (Courtesy: Official Twitter page)

As a first-time attendee, what should your audience expect from the show?
8203;I hate going to shows with expectations. It is so delightful to walk into something and not know anything about it. That being said, I like to create comedy that is really fun, high energy and surprising. Its nice not knowing what is going to happen next.

Where did you gain the inspiration to come up with creating a the content of your show?
​I love theatre and comedy. I love the rawness of live performances. We are seeing something that no one will ever see again. No one show is the same. That thing that happens between an audience and a performer is really special - when it's bad, when it's good - it's always special.

Why should people come and watch your show?
​I'm trying to make fun and interesting work. I'm trying to make something different. I'm trying to make something good, meaningful, fun, something that people can connect with and reflect on, so people should come to watch the pursuit of all these things, because it's interesting to watch the pursuit of them...sometimes more interesting than watching the achievement of them.

Is there anything else you'd like to readers to know about your show?
The show is incredibly physically and emotionally taxing. I really didn't appreciate that until last night when I passed out after my show due to dehydration. I wear a full-body muscle suit throughout the show, which doesn't breathe very well, so people should come see the show because there is a chance that I might die on stage which would be f*cking awesome to watch!

Book your tickets to Josh Glanc's show Manfül here and connect with the show and the artist through their social media platforms:
Facebook // Twitter
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Why? If you've ever met someone who is all about the superficial appeal, then you're going to love this show
When: 9:15pm
Where: The Royal Croquet Club // Adelaide Fringe
Cost: $18 - $27
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