IF PRESIDENT Trump leaves just one legacy (and sadly, of course, he won’t) thanks to the willingness of his flock to be shepherded in the direction of a cliff, he has managed to introduce the concept of fake News.
The mainstream media has been belittled, serious journalism sideswiped and as a result, the world wide debate on the essence of truth and lies is constant.
What can we make of it? Thankfully, we still have political satire to wring some understanding out of the dirty washcloth that is extreme right wing propaganda.
This week at Oran Mor, the DM Collective is staging We Interrupt This Programme, a satirical comedy musical that asks “How often do we stop and question what we’re being told?”
And the show seeks, in as funny a manner as possible to underline Oscar Wilde’s contention that, “The truth is rarely pure, and never simple.”
The DM Collective features Dave Anderson, Cat Grozier, Ross Mann and Elizabeth Caproni. Caproni says she is excited about the challenge of making us look at the world via the “news” that bombards our minds from a range of sources. “My character, Nina, is a newsreader and hopeful about reporting the truth, but she comes up against an older newsreader Dan [Anderson] who is more old school with the attitude ‘Just read the autocue, who cares?’
“There’s a conflict between the characters. Nina began her career in awe of this man, but her illusions are quickly shattered, which gives the play a really good narrative.”
Caproni adds: “All of this brings in the notion of what we can believe of the information coming at us. Can we believe social media reports? Does this feed into mainstream news? And how objective is the notion of truth that’s offered up to us?”
The show will be polemical, and stimulating. But hopefully it will be very funny as well.”
Caproni is perfectly placed to be part of the DM Collective. The actress is also an accomplished writer, with Radio 4 credits and the heralded – and very funny – book, God Must Be A Man.
In more recent times, she has been writing and performing with female collective Witsherface. “Yes, I get to do my Cheryl Cole, Melania Trump and Kim Kardashian impressions. And I love it.”
The original plan was to become a performer. “I can remember when I was around 13 I said to my mother ‘I need to act!’ It wasn’t that I had been in school shows or anything like that.”
She says: “Acting took hold of me, and it has never left me. Thankfully, my mother took me to drama classes, where I loved it and realised I wanted even more.”
After drama college in London, Caproni moved back to Scotland but work was limited. “I needed something to do and volunteered with the charity Spirit Aid for two years.” Meantime, she wrote and directed short film The Angel, featuring David Hayman. Caproni went on to appear in TV drama Trial and Retribution and much later, River City.
However, the actress/writer who lives in Dunblane (and plays tennis – “obsessively” at Andy Murray’s home club) is not the type to sit around and wait for the agent to call. “I’ve been studying for an Open University degree in Philosophy and Psychology.”
She adds, beaming: “I’m two thirds of the way through the course, and I’ve had distinctions every year. But I’m having a little break because acting and writing demands have become a bit busier.”
The degree course has had added impact. “Learning about psychology has really given me lots of ideas for writing,” she says. “It makes me think about how minds work. Yet, while my early writing has been dramatic, I’ve realised you can make some really serious points with comedy. And I’ve realised audiences don’t want to sit and be depressed. What I love is the idea of creating laughs – and then hitting them between the eyes with something serious.”
We Interrupt This Programme, Oran Mor, Glasgow, until Saturday.
Source : HeraldScotland