Nicholas Amott has been kicking around the Ottawa Theatre scene for a while now…he’s another one I first saw in Youth Infringement years ago, and since have caught him in a pretty sweet MACBETH from Sock’n’Buskin, and more recently at the Gladstone with Bear and Company’s TAMING OF THE SHREW. Last year his production company Fireflood Theatre debuted at the Fringe with MERCUTIO AND OPHELIA, and this year they’re back…with the battle-based epic, THE FIGHT.
– What motivated creation of THE FIGHT?
I was watching “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” one fateful winter’s night, basking in the warm glow of its epicness, when the idea whacked me: a show that would incorporate numerous fights into a solid narrative, in which story and stage-combat not only worked in tandem, but actually complimented one-another. A story that would weave as many kick-ass fight scenes into it as coherently possible, without losing the audiences attention to the journey of the characters, all leading up to one grand final fight!
…Seemed like fun…seemed like a lot of fun…for everyone – audience and performers……me likey-ed!
– Were you experienced in stage combat before this show?
In limited ways. I’ve done stage combat in a number of situations now (i.e. past shows), and have some martial arts training (black-belt karatay, wut wut), but I’ve never received any true specialized training in it….although Ottawa Swordplay has recently come into my sights as a nifty little potential investment…
– How did your cast come together?
Brennan was a given. Either he agreed to be my partner-in-crime for the project, or it wasn’t happening…this year. We were both in a production of the Scottish play (is it bad luck to type “Macbeth”?), and fell in love with not only his style of fight choreography (stylized, but believable), but also the chemistry we had as fighters in our final showdown (MacB vs. MacD)……….kind of hard to describe: we’re not actually trying to kill each other…but besides that one little fact, we’re going at it as hard as we know we can take it…and if we take a bump, bruise, or scratch along the way, damn it we trust each other to sell the hell out of it and keep on going!
Rebecca was a later addition to the cast…quite a bit later actually. She messaged me saying she’d like to be involved in some way, so we sat down to chat it over and……well frankly she gave me the ending to the play. Originally she just had a cameo role, but as we all sat together to help develop it, we realized a female character could actually work quite well throughout the entire play, as a kind of phantom…..who knows how to kick our asses.
– How invaluable is a stage manager in a show like this?
Erin MacDonald, in these past couple of months, has been the spearpoint at my butt, and I thank heavens for sending her my way each day – making sure the project moves forward (and that I have all my poop together), encouraging when the nerves are high, strict when the business is nigh. Were she not on our team, I tell you now, our tech would not nearly have been as smooth as it ended up being, nor the run itself so far.
– Are there any plans for Fireflood Theatre post-Fringe this year?
The awesome-sauced Jonah Allingham invited us to participate in the second annual Fresh Meat Theatre Festival in the fall, so that’s a thing (and an honour!). And after the dust has settled over The Fight….some serious thought is going to be put towards reviving FireFlood’s little venture from last year’s Fringe, Mercutio and Ophelia, (yes, this year) based on the overall amazing response we got from its audiences (bigger and better than evah!!)
……beyond that…..I dunno, wouldn’t mind directing something that isn’t mine…
– bonus question: What about the other show you’re in, THE VANITY PROJECT?
Tim has created something that’s quite extraordinary – a piece that shines a new light upon a tale as old as time, with music that is not only superb, but actually fits the AESTHETIC of the show itself, as opposed to the setting of it (as musicals tend to do, if even that).
Now, to conclude, would I consider again producing, writing, directing, designing, promoting, and acting in one show ON TOP OF acting in a second show AND having to come up with a One-Night variation/solo version of the first?……..past Nick says “no”, current Nick – “we’ll see”, future Nick – “seriously though………we’re going through all of this again?”
THE FIGHT plays at Studio Leonard-Beaulne as part of this year’s Ottawa Fringe Festival. Remaining showtimes are:
Sunday, June 23 7:30pm
Tuesday, June 25 7:00pm
Saturday, June 29 12:00pm
…and THE VANITY PROJECT will be at Arts Court Theatre, with showtimes at:
Sunday June 23 7:00
Monday June 24 6:30
Wednesday June 26 9:30
Thursday June 27 11:00
Friday June 28 6:30