by Catherine Hart
Two Piece Suite is written by an emerging Nelson local, Isaac Thomas. It sounds like an absolute delight of a show; I can’t wait to see it!
Isaac is a regular Nelson Finge-er, being involved in the previous two festivals as well as this year’s. Last year he performed in a show by Laura Irish called Hot Chocolate and the Trail’s End, which was runner-up for the Best Script of the 2016 Nelson Fringe Festival.
Isaac tells me that this Two Piece Suite is the first time he has written a musical performance. “I was playing with an idea that I’ve had bumping around in my head for a few years now, and it’s had many sort of iterations, but they don’t really come to fruition. So this time I finally sat down and gave myself a deadline and submitted it to the Fringe.”
As a fellow writer, I find myself asking whether Isaac’s character, Jack, is based on his own life. “Perhaps originally the idea was to be based on me, but I was doing a character hot-seat with Laura and this new character popped out of nowhere. So he’s a bit of a someone-I’ve-never-met-before character. So it’s very interesting, he just kind of popped out of the ether.”
“I think perhaps there are some elements of myself [in his character], but that’s [the same] with all my characters. I wouldn’t say that he is based on me in any way.”
I ask Isaac to tell me more about the premise of the show; “The show is about a fleeting moment of two musicians who come from different backgrounds, different upbringings, different ideals. And they share a moment in time on the street busking, and we get to witness that moment. It’s not much of a big, arching, epic tale, it’s more of a slice of life really.”
As an emerging writer and performer, I wonder how Isaac has found the process of creating the show. He tells me; “It’s been through a bit of a transition. Like I said, I had this idea of two people meeting and sharing a moment in time… I wanted to play with this idea for many years. And then it got around to Fringe and Laura said that I should do something for it… I just started writing music first, I was just playing on my guitar writing songs, playing with lyrics. And then out of the lyrics came character’s, and out of the lyrics and the characters and the songs came scenes and scenarios. I was asking myself why would these characters be singing these songs, what are they trying to say? And then from there I developed it into more of a story…”
“I discovered that I am much better at writing music than I am at writing scripts… Music comes much more naturally to me than scriptwriting so it was an interesting process.”
Isaac tells me that he is especially excited to share the music of the show with audiences. “I’m very proud of the music, I think there are some really nice moments… it’s a bit of a delight and I’d like to share that delight with the audience.”
Two Piece Suite is part of a double feature alongside A Guy, a Girl and a Lawnmower. The show is only 25 minutes, and is performed by Isaac and Georgia Chapple: “She has an amazing voice and she’s very talented. I’m very lucky to be working with her.”
A week after Fringe Isaac will be moving to Wellington to work as part of the Young and Hungry Arts Festival, so look out Wellington!
Two Piece Suite is part of the Nelson Fringe Festival at the Refinery Art Space. It will be performed as part of a double act that will be held on the 4th May at 8pm.
To read more about the show, or to book tickets, click here.