Greg Sinclair: musician/performance artist
Musician and performance artist Greg Sinclair began his career as a cellist and composer before branching into theatre and performance art, much of which is created for children and young audiences. His latest piece, I Do, Do I is running as part of the Brighton Festival
What are the ideas behind I Do, Do I?
It is a solo piece but a very collaborative piece that I made with a group of school children in Scotland who were about nine and 10 years old. The idea for the piece was about giving up some control as an artist and allowing the children to make decisions for me. It’s pretty daft and quite off the wall. I like to think that it shows a kind of childish sense of humour and it’s about me trying to rediscover that as an adult artist.
Is there an element to the piece that is for adult audiences?
Very much actually. When it was in Edinburgh it received quite a few reviews and people were questioning whether it was even a show for children or just a show about children. I think it very much is a show for children but there are definitely elements to it for adults. The children are guiding me through the show and there are some insights that get more meaningful when you’re an adult.
What interests you about making work for children?
I have worked quite a lot in children’s theatre in lots of different capacities, but one of the main reasons I did this show was that I had previously done a show in which I performed alongside an 11-year-old boy. I was aware that while his input was there during the process, it was often a whole room of adults telling this boy what to do. It did sometimes feel an imbalance, so this is the opposite process where it is me in the minority in a room full of children. Children are a really honest audience. As adults, somewhere along the line we learn there are perceived rules and etiquette at the theatre, so I’m hoping to challenge that.
What do you like about the festival environment as an artist?
I think festivals often attract quite a diverse audience. You get people from all different walks of life at festivals, so I hope my shows reach a wider range of audiences by playing at festivals.
What is your performance background?
I studied music, mostly cello and composition, and then I started working as a composer for theatre. Quite often I was playing live music in performance, and I think in children’s theatre the musicians have to also perform – it’s not just playing notes – so that’s where it started. I am inspired by what children’s naivety can bring to my performance, which is a really interesting thing.
I Do, Do I runs at the Old Market, Brighton on May 8 and 9