Musical Comedy Quartet Bowjangles return to EdFringe this year to take on camaraderie, misogyny, class, elitism, oh, and vampires. Dracula in Space blasts off in little over a week, so we wanted to get the lowdown on the string-fellows exciting musical exploration of their relationship with each other, the entertainment industry, the professional world, and their love of sci-fi and horror. We caught up with the awesome foursome for a pixelated pint.
Catch Bowjangles: Dracula in Space from August 2nd to 27th at 16:30 at Gilded Balloon: Patter Hoose (Doonstairs). Tickets are available through the EdFringe Box Office.
Jake: Hi guys! ‘Dracula in Space’ is a love letter to classic horror films and their iconic scores, as well as to camaraderie as a binding force. Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired you to put those two themes together?
Bowjangles: Number one, we love horror and we’re obsessed with the science of musical harmonics that can physically inspire creeping dread in the body of a listener. It really is amazing what music can do, the way it can affect your breathing – whether it makes you cry, or triggers euphoria. Music and camaraderie are linked scientifically too, scans have shown that an ensemble playing together trigger the same synapses in the brain firing among the group. This sounds so serious – but comedy has a similar science too, finding beats and riding dynamics.
Jake: Can you tell us a little bit about the process of creating a show that sees a string quartet blasting into space? How did you come to find your musical feet within that concept?
Bowjangles: The trouble with setting a show in space at the Fringe is that you’ll never have the special effects budget, but we’re lucky that we can use music to create an atmosphere. We’re also sci-fi fans, and the space music genre is ripe for parody.
The first song of the show is based on Holst’s Jupiter from the Planet Suite, he’s the godfather of space music, and it really helps create the setting from the off.
Jake: The show deals with artistic ambition, friendships, professionalism, group dynamics, as well as how we are affected by elitism, misogyny and class disparity. Whew! That’s a lot! What are you hoping the audience takes away from it all?
Bowjangles: It is a lot! So we’re following the story of Dracula, but we’ve implanted ourselves into the narrative, taking over the parts of the Harkers, Van Helsing etc. This has meant that we can explore all of the things that worry and annoy us about the industry (and crucially each other), it’s been quite cathartic. The big question of the show is “why don’t we just become one of those sexy electric string quartets and make loads of money in the corporate world”. Essentially we’re saying that those sexy electric string quartets are vampires.
Jake: Tell us about your relationship with Edinburgh and the Fringe – have you been before and how are you feeling about it all now we are a month away?
Bowjangles: This is our fourth fringe as a group. We’re getting to a point where everything is ready now! The show’s cut to 60 mins, everything’s booked. We’ve given ourselves a few weeks before to focus on our families before we disappear to the nonsense land of the Fringe!
Jake: Given the themes of Binge Fringe, if your show was a beverage of any kind (alcoholic, non-alcoholic – be as creative as you like!), what would it be and why?
Bowjangles: Oh we’ve been given a wine pairing! Our friend Anna Lou is a cabaret performer and sommelier who is pairing wines to shows – ours is “Incanta” a 2021 Romanian Pinot Noir: blood red, sonorous, with some cracking top notes. Her show Le Wine Club is at Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose at 3pm.