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2017: Jukeboxes…Interview

Less than a week to go to bOing! 2017. We caught up with James Baker, Joint Artistic Director about their performance Jukeboxes.

How did Bootworks Theatre begin?

In 1999 Joff Chafer (who also co-founded Trestle Theatre) wanted to start his own company. He did – and their first rehearsal was in an old, abandoned Bootworks factory – hence the name. Joff eventually gave the company to Robert Daniels (who ran it for a number of years with Producer Emily Coleman). James Baker and Andy Roberts joined the company in 2007 to help Robert with the artistic direction of things, and in 2010 they were also joined by Becki Haines (our current Producer).

Tell us about JukeBoxes

The JukeBoxes are really Jukeboxes set upfun. They are two jukeboxes that have a  performer inside of each one. When they spring to life the performers take turns in recreating as many pop/rock music idols of the last 60 years as they can – in the space of 7 minutes. It involves a ludicrous amount of wig changes and is the sweatiest show any performer has ever undertaken.

What can families expect?

There’s a real mix of pop/rock stars that appear in the show; from Prince to Madonna to Elsa from Disney’s Frozen. Audiences often find themselves singing along to their favourite tracks or joining in with an impromptu version of the YMCA. There’s a little something for everyone.

What does it mean to you to come to bOing! ?

I’ve wanted to come to bOing!? since it started. We’ve been to the Gulbenkian in the past (with The Incredible Book Eating Boy) and had a great time. Having a particular platform for families to come together and enjoy a wide variety of brilliant art is really exciting for Kent and for the performers/companies that are visiting.

At the bOing! 2017 Symposium we are discussing creating work for Early Years, what was the first piece of art/performance you experienced?  Why do you think access to the arts by children & young people is important?

It was probably something a bit rubbish like a Pantomine at Christmas or a nativity at a school. It’s really hard for parents to know what might be good to take their kids to – which is why events like bOing!? are brilliant in seeing something that might be a bit alternative or odd or exciting or new.

The theme for this year’s bOing is fabulous beasties – can you describe, draw or creatively show us a fabulous beastie?

Well there’s a Beastie in the show. It’s the beast from Michael Jackson’s Thriller video and he looks a little something like this…Juxesboxes