HIGH TEA with BOOFF
HIGH TEA with BOOFF is a work of installation clown theatre. The show tours with its own venue – a richly detailed, Tim Burton-esquel lounge room replete with custom made furniture, bespoke chandeliers, shared stories and piping hot tea. The work deploys auto-biographical story-telling and narrative-driven clowning. It has been created to service the festival, community and corporate markets - globally.
The production is housed within an air-conditioned custom-built 20ft shipping container that expands to create a 6m x 5m venue. The unit is a high-cube style container - with extra height than standard - that has been richly transformed. Welcomed by oureloquent and other-worldly host, audiences enter the space in accordance with anylocal social distancing measures.
Anchored in shared stories, the audience experience is akin to a visit with your favouriteaunt – a surreal tea-party that's partly scripted and partly improvised. As a character, BOOFF resonates with the work of artists like Julian Clary and Dame Edna Everage, alarger-than-life persona in whose company all people are equal and all are equallyworthy of reverence or ribaldry.
"Welcome to a perfect tea party. Excellent china cups, high quality brews, and just the right amount of scandal. BOOFF has outdone himself, outfitting the most scrumptious tea room in respectable suburbia. A black-and-white instagrammers daydream, the tea room is filled with beautiful knickknacks and fabulous curiosities, and a set of ostentatious parlour chairs with just room enough for ten. Upon arrival we pour each other a delicate cup of an aromatic black tea, and snack upon quintessential Australian cookies. Choice of digestive or iced vovo is a charmingly surreal, and quite like we’ve stepped into an episode of Neighbours circa 1985.
This is not so much a show as an intimate gathering, where we catch up and share gossip and stories. We are treated to a beautiful trip down memory lane, where the stories are all most genteel, at least, mostly genteel, with a touch of the macabre, and a heavy dose of the ludicrous.
A delightfully imposing clown, when captured in the intimate setting of the tea room, BOOFF becomes even larger than life. I felt quite giddy, it’s such a space to step into, an otherworldly experience. If you were to enter this beautiful parlour from the chaos of a summer festival, you would be instantly transported to another world entirely. In this BOOFF has done that most perfect of magic theatre tricks, he has made the outside go away and the inside somewhere else.
As I write my reflection, I am sipping upon a tea that was gifted as I left the parlour; “A Ceremonial Sample of Finest Loose Leaf tea.” And so it is that I am left with an impression of consummate finesse. Every detail complete, every element of the perfectly manifest. HIGH TEA with BOOFF ought to be the most coveted invitation of any budding socialites dance card."
Nadia Jade (AUS)
Nothing Ever Happens in Brisbane
The North Australian Festival of Arts - Townsville
7th - 11th July 2021
14th - 18th July 2021
The Noosa Alive Festival - Noosa
21st - 24th July 2021
Creator, Co-Writer & Performer: Clint Bolster
Co-Writer & Director: Damien Cassidy
Producer: Rob Tannion & Debbie Wilks - Cluster Arts
Production Designer: Josh McIntosh
Lighting Designer: Jason Glenwright
Sound Designer: Guy Webster
Videographer: Tnee Dyer
Photographers: Justin Ma & Barbara Lowing
Costume Designer: Joanne Farer
Makeup Designer: Julieanne Edwards
Script Sound Board: Penny Everingham
UNIQUE SELLING POINT
HIGH TEA with BOOFF resonates with a range of program platforms from contemporary performance programs to queer, comedy and cabaret festivals. The heart of the show’s appeal is the character of BOOFF who is both other-worldly and transgressive; at once strong and vulnerable; at once uniquely himself whilst also emblematic of us all. In the way that true clowns are reflective of the universal human condition. The work’s broad appeal affords the potential for significant reach.
In response to COVID19, from March to June 2020, we produced and broadcast eight episodes of a live-streamed version of HIGH TEA with BOOFF via Facebook, and featured guest spots from 33 artists from around the world and attracted 80,000 + views from audiences in 15 countries. Many presenters we have spoken to are already aware of the work through these broadcasts.
The nature of the work - set inside the controlled environment of the venue - lends it to other broadcasts, further extending its reach. The venue will have the in-built capacity to host live-streamed performances or promotional shoots, which is of interest to presenters to enrich campaign content. We have also discussed BOOFF hosting interviews with festival artists, notable personas and audience members. Lastly, the show can also host corporate packages, an option that has been taken up by The North Australian Festival of Arts in Townsville, for the two week 2021 world premiere season of the work.
"In an age where clowns reveal our hidden self, BOOFF is both sharp and insightful, yet aware of the provocations which are designed to unlock insights. BOOFF invites us to unite as we focus on the particular, the unusual, the rare. BOOFF is a masterwork, that will leave you feeling uncomfortably settled. ”
Paul Bishop (AUS)
0439 931 892