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Fringe preview: Butt Kapinski and Dave | Edinburgh Festival

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 09:40 -- rprice

a semi-improvised film noir with a character called Butt Kapinski. Although, in reality, it’s not entirely solo. ‘I started doing the character with a couple of other actors,’ Fleysher explains. ‘And then at some point I realised that I was much more interested in working with the audience, so I started to ask the question of how I could do that, and what holds performers back from really being able to engage with the audience?’ Given that her alter-ego Butt Kapinski is a private eye, Fleysher figured out an ingenious way to enable her character to walk among the audience, based on the classic film noir image of private eyes lurking beneath street lights. ‘I’m wearing a giant street lamp attached to my back; and that is the only light in the show.’ Perhaps cautious of Red Bastard’s terrifying reputation, Fleysher is keen to assuage any fears that her audience may harbour. ‘I think a lot of people hate audience participation because performers can embarrass them, can make them feel like the patsy or the idiot. And in my show, people find it pretty fun because the truth is that everyone’s really just laughing at me.’ Fleysher never had any doubt she wanted to portray Kapinski as a man. ‘A private eye is a man, and part of the show’s idiocy is some of that gender confusion. That also translates into what parts I give people because I cross-gender cast the whole show.’