Olivia Zerphy and Emily Wheatman, members Voloz Collective, share their thoughts on their new show and their experiences since their successful debut at the Fringe last year.
Since their previous Fringe appearance, the Voloz Collective has been dedicated to developing their latest production, The Life Sporadic of Jess Wildgoose. They have embarked on various residency periods and even performed their previous show, The Man Who Thought He Knew Too Much, in French in Paris. Olivia elaborates on their recent endeavours, stating, “There was a fair amount of work to do to translate and adapt ‘The Man Who’ for French audiences, we had that run in May, and since then, we’ve just been working on developing this new show.”
As they prepare for their return to the Fringe, Olivia and Emily express excitement and apprehension about presenting both The Life Sporadic of Jess Wildgoose and an expanded version of The Man Who Thought He Knew Too Much. Olivia explains, “We’re hoping to preserve aspects of the style and the storytelling and the humour and the comedy from ‘The Man Who,’ but also wanting to make sure that we’re maturing in our style and the way that we tell stories and the type of stories that we want to tell.”
Reflecting on their previous Fringe success, Emily describes what it meant to the company. “It was really validating, I think, for us as a company because it was our first show, we’re just hoping we can replicate it this summer. Emily adds, “We have a bit of second album syndrome with the second show… We’re like, ‘Oh my God, but the first one was so good, how do we top it?'”
Shifting the focus to their new production, Olivia and Emily eagerly discuss The Life Sporadic of Jess Wildgoose, Olivia provides a glimpse into the show’s narrative, sharing, “It follows one woman named Jess Wildgoose who lives in New York, wants to work in finance, and is just constantly not able to really pursue her dreams. It’s very much a dark comedy where we dig into the duality of ambition as a useful and also destructive force.”
As for the audience experience, Olivia and Emily assure that despite their unique style, audiences will find relatable elements in their shows. Emily emphasizes, “That’s the aim of this show, to have characters that you feel aligned with, or you can kind of see yourself in versions of her, in terms of the feelings behind it or the emotional experience, it’s very relatable.”
Voloz will again perform at The Pleasance, Olivia expresses gratitude for their support and the vibrant artistic community at the Edinburgh Fringe, “We feel like being with the Pleasance also just helps us pull in audiences because of the location and the reputation.”
Reflecting on their previous Fringe experience, Olivia and Emily discuss valuable lessons learned. Olivia shares, “The moments where we have fun on stage and even the moments that we had the most joy creating are often the moments that have the most positive audience response.” Emily adds laughing, “Also, we’ve now learned never to create a show where you have to wear heavy three-piece suits in the middle of summer!”
Olivia and Emily leave a tantalizing invitation to potential audiences. Olivia says, “Tarantino meets Pixar-like emotional realism mixed with absurdity and high existential absurdism… Expect the unexpected, be ready to be touched and completely flabbergasted.” Emily adds, “What happens when you have it all and then you lose it all? How does one woman react to that? Imagine going through the extremes of the human experience in one hour.”
With their unique style, compelling narratives, and dedication to theatrical excellence, Voloz Collective are set to captivate audiences once again at the Edinburgh Fringe 2023.
More information about The Life Sporadic of Jess Wildgoose can be found here.
Voloz Collective will also perform a new expanded version of The Man Who Thought He Knew Too Much at this year’s Fringe.