Sven Verelst is an independent physical actor from Belgium making his first international solo performance at the Fringe for all the family to enjoy. Tucked up to sleep, a pyjama man is tossed and turned up the rabbit hole of his imagination, bringing his bedroom to life. Sven spoke with The Fountain about the show, and his many influences.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting? Writings of Ernest Holst certainly sounds interesting, what is the premise?
I am very excited to perform at the Fringe in Edinburgh as this is my first own personal project. I worked on this project for a long time and it feels rewarding to see it grow. Sfenson is a nickname that was given to me by my friends when I was younger. That name stands for a reinvention of myself based on fun, freedom, creativity, laughter. These values are my reference and I check up with them to keep them present in the decisions of professional life. It’s about reinventing the moment in my own way.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
Sometimes when I practice clowning I experience great joy and relief. That in combination with a need to be seen, became an important engine. Also to challenge myself, to experience that one can do something difficult alone, when comes to vision. I love people, people like Lee Scratch Perry, or my friend Kaputorama, You give them a pile of junk and they make poetry with it. Everything they can get a hold of starts to speak and radiate. I like Harpo Marx because of his brutal joy. Belgium comedy like Urbanus for his surrealism or Wim Helsen for his absurd naivety. Also Belgium TV shows like In de Gloria and Het Peulengaleis. My work is influenced by Leandre, Julien Cuttereau, The Umbilical Brothers. People who are able to show the audience a universe with only movement. Also the many teachers I have encountered during the years. I still hear them speak while I work.
TF: Have you been to the Fringe before, is there anything you are keen to see whilst in Edinburgh? And what are your future plans beyond Writings of Ernest Holst?
I wanted to take part on the Fringe so I can perform in an environment that is more challenging. To see how a bigger public reacts to what I do. I am lucky to stay with people from Edinburgh. I look forward to that. This way I can experience the festival from the local point of view. I am also very excited to meet all those other artists. This is my first time at the Fringe and I have the impression of it being competitive, crowded, warm and welcoming. Me and my girlfriend are both freelance social-cultural workers. We dream about a place where we bring together performance, teaching and professional development. Practically put, a place where we run workshops, develop performances and build a support network for all those interested in our approach.
You can see Writings of Ernest Holst at Venue 13 from 3rd – 9th August at 11:55. For tickets, please visit www.edfringe.com