Monthly Archives: April 2012

Interview: Alice Lowe In Wunderland

THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN IN APRIL 2011 FOR THE VELVET ONION

Hi Alice! Welcome back to TVO.  First off then, what can you tell us about Wunderland?

© Jimmy Crippen

I think it’ll be up your street! It’s quite fantastical, but with a gritty side to it. There’s a magical realism quality to it too. There’s a line in the script that says it’s the Poundland of magical realms. Wunderland is very weird but set in our world, with familiar references – imagining if magic did exist how jaded would it be by now?

It’s a sketch show, and it’s going to be ‘a little bit wacky’, she says in inverted commas! I wanted to do something a bit more imaginative, and go against the stereotype of what people expect from Radio 4. I wanted to do something that was about sound, and be experimental.

Wunderland itself is a place. It’s a fictional town where anything can happen. It’s a very British town… a bit dirty round the gills, with an air of dilapidation and pretension.

I wanted to do something that was quite magical, and transported you somewhere new. I’ve been thinking about hypnotism tapes, and how sound can transport you into a different place if you listen to it in a certain way. I kind of want people to listen to Wunderland in a darkened room! Get some sensory deprivation going…

Are we in for a real audio experience then?

There are a couple of songs in there, and some weird soundscape ideas – which I’d want more of if it went to series… fingers crossed!

I wanted music to be a big part of it, so I got Jane Watkins involved. She’s composed music for a lot of the short films I’ve done, so she came on board as my consultant and composer for this. What’s really strange is that you think being radio that music would be really important, but its quite common not to have the budget for new music.  I think that was one of my more diva-ish demands to Radio 4!

Yeah, but Hot Brew, unfortunately did not make the cut. It was nothing to do with the quality of the sketch, but we had to lose ten sketches out of about thirty, just because I like to leave an element of improvisation and quite often they end up much longer than I originally planned. I want people to muck around and have the freedom to be funny, but obviously that means that if you chase a funny idea then sometimes you have to lose things, which is a bit heart wrenching. Read the rest of this entry

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