Q&A Scene: Graeme Donaldson ~ Graeme of Thrones

What productions have you worked on before?

I did the musical of Oliver when I was at school. Well I was an understudy.

Who did you understudy for?

In the scene where the undertakers buy Oliver, I was in a coffin at the side of the stage. You couldn’t see me as the lid was on, but the director said she loved my presence.

How did you come up with this idea?

Game Of Thrones is my favourite book and TV series, but it just seemed like the material really belonged on the stage. You look at George RR Martins visions – huge dragons, armies of thousands, a sprawling world of different landscapes – who doesn’t immediately think that’s ideal for a theatre show. It was the logical next step. I asked my friend Paul who knows a bit about theatre lights and special effects to help with the technical aspects and then hired a proper actress called Bryony to help perform the show.

When the idea was first starting to come together, were there any particular scenes of characters that you felt were ripe for using in terms of comedic value?

I think there may be a misunderstanding here as this isn’t comedy. This is theatre. Serious theatre. Shakespeare. Olivier. Graeme. That’s what they’ll be saying.

How long did it take to write?

A whole day. I even missed lunch.

Any stand out moments during the writing of the production?

I was really on a roll about 2pm. Hunger set in about half hour later though so progress slowed then.

How do you fit such a journey, over such a period of time, into a two to three hour production?

We don’t – we fit it into 90 minutes. That’s the power of theatre. They say a picture paints a thousand words, I think it was Pinter who said a theatre scene is like 10 or 20 pictures, so we can get a lot of words into a very short time. Actually it was Paul who said that. Not Pinter.

IS there a ‘red wedding’ scene?

You’ll have to wait and see, let’s just say I was surprised how long it takes to get red dye out of your skin. I can’t say any more as the lawsuit is ongoing.

Are there any surprises?

There’s many surprises – Ned’s execution, the birth of the dragons, the price of a glass of wine at the theatre.

Has George RR Martin heard about it/ seen it?

Stunned silence probably best describes his reaction. Once he’s had time to gather his thoughts I’m sure he’ll be in touch. Live theatre is powerful stuff.

Do you need to have read the books / seen the tv show to enjoy your production?

Not at all – we explain everything as we go. Consider me your guide to the Seven Kingdoms (the world in which Game Of Thrones takes place) as we journey from Kings Landing (the capital of the Seven Kingdoms) to Beyond The Wall (the rough patch on the other side of a huge barricade made of ice, known as the wall, where bad things tend to happen). See – it’s all explained as we go.

Do you change the production at all depending on which country you are in?

No – should we? Actually last time we performed in Australia was in a big tent in January. I sweated profusely throughout. We didn’t do that anywhere else.

If you had to compare this production to “food” what would it be?

Lobster Thermidor aux crevettes with a Mornay sauce, garnished with truffle pâté, brandy and a fried egg on top and Spam.

What’s your own favourite character from GoT, and your favourite scene?

It’d have to be Tyrion – his trial scene is one of the most moving things I’ve ever seen. Our re-creation really does the original justice, in fact our version is so moving some people have had to leave the theatre. How they knew that bit was going to be too much for them before we even started that scene amazes me, but really shows the power of theatre.

 Hot off the back of rave reviews at the recent Adelaide Fringe Festival, Fringe World Festival Perth and last year’s Wonderland Festival in Brisbane, this must-see comedy stage show, Graeme Of Thrones, is finally on its way to Melbourne and Sydney.

In this critically-acclaimed theatrical journey through the Seven Kingdoms, direct from sold out shows in London’s West End and the USA, avid ‘Thrones’ fan Graeme just wants to recreate his favourite fantasy saga on stage.  He doesn’t quite have the same budget as the TV show, or as many cast members, or the performance skills required, but he’s sure George RR Martin would approve – and that’s what matters.  But when news reaches him that an influential theatrical producer is in the building, Graeme decides that this could be his big break – as long as nothing goes wrong…

Having started life in London’s West End, the show has since been seen around the world with productions in Australia, Canada and the USA.  In 2017 the production takes on a world tour giving Westeros fans everywhere the chance to see why Time Out described it as ‘a must for any Game Of Thrones fan’, what caused a woman in Norwich to vomit into her purse, and why it was banned from performing in Malaysia.

Created by a team of some of the UK’s top comedy writers, Graeme Of Thrones is an original and un-authorized parody on the international phenomenon that is Game Of Thrones. A treat for fans and an introduction for the unenlightened.

‘Game Of Thrones fan boys and girls will want to get tickets… magic on stage’ -THE URBAN LIST (PERTH)

‘Stupidly enjoyable… their comic timing is superb’ -THE STAGE (LONDON)

‘Funny, with spot-on gags and lo-fi props that wring so much silliness from George RR Martin’s fantasy adventure… you’ll see the main characters deftly, daftly re-imagined’ -THE TIMES (LONDON) * * * *

Tickets on sale Friday 7th April at 10.00am

Monday 4th – Sunday 10th September, 2017

Factory Theatre, Sydney

Tickets available from www.factorytheatre.com.au

Monday 11th – Sunday 17th September, 2017

Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne

Tickets available from www.thethornburytheatre.com

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About Mary Boukouvalas 1643 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.