Princess Diana never landed on the moon. Elvis lives in Area 51. JFK did 9/11. 60% of Brits believe in at least one conspiracy theory. And not all of them are wearing tinfoil hats. Multi award-winning Barrel Organ returns with a larger-than-life, cartoonish show about conspiracy theories, fake news and an epidemic of mistrust. Conspiracy tells the stories of people brought crashing together – to find the truth, to exploit hysteria and to fight the rising tide. Barrel Organ spoke with The Fountain about the show, as well as who they personally wish to see.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?
We can’t bloody wait. It’s the first time we’ve been back in a couple of years, and the first time at Underbelly, so we’re excited to be in the thick of things again, not getting enough sleep and watching Too Much Theatre.
TF: Conspiracy certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
The show opens with three people describing a famous photo from history. They dig deeper into it and uncover something underneath. This begins their investigation to solve the mystery. We want to take the audience with them on that journey, to explore what makes us believe and what happens when you believe in something too much.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
After Trump became president and the conspiracy theorist-in-chief sat in the White House, we started chatting about this show as a way into exploring the far-right. But in the last year, we’ve realised conspiracy theories are far more widespread, and the questions we really wanted to ask are the ones at the heart of all our work: about stories and storytelling. Trump, and what he has mobilised, is probably the elephant in the room throughout the show, just as he is, arguably, for any piece of theatre right now.
TF: Have you been to the Fringe before, is there anything you are keen to see whilst in Edinburgh?
Our list of shows to see is growing by the day and doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. We’re excited for A Table Tennis Play, Civilization, Pops and Who Cares, as well as for our fellow Untapped award-winners, Art Heist and Tokyo Rose.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond Conspiracy?
We’ve got a big show in development, our first adaptation, which we should have news of before the year is out, and hopefully we’ll be taking Conspiracy on tour some time in 2020, but apart from that who knows? Maybe a film. Maybe we can finally make Jaws the Musical, In Space.
You can see Conspiracy at Underbelly, Cowgate from 5th – 25th August at 16:45. For tickets, please visit www.edfringe.com