Preview/interview: Stuart Taylor Money’s 2 Tight 2 Mention: The Corona Edition

Date: Friday May 15, 2020

Time: 9pm

Duration: One hour

Tickets: R50

Booking: Quicket. Direct booking link: https://qkt.io/StuartTaylor

How it works: After purchasing your ticket, you will receive an e-mail with a link, which grants access to the show.

Devices: Link will work on Windows/Apple/Android

Way back in 2011 at the end of August, Stuart Taylor premiered his show, Money’s Too Tight To Mention, at the Baxter Concert Hall. It was directed by Heinrich Reisenhofer. Here we are in May 2020, in the national lockdown and Taylor has rebooted the 2011 show and contextualised it in relation to the global pandemic. Sadly money is too tight to mention. The Corona Edition includes material from the original show and features scenarios which we could not have imagined in 2011. We may have thought that things were tough but it was about to get a lot tighter.

As Covid-19 continues to surge its way through the world theatres are closed and likely to be for a long time. With that in mind, creatives like Stuart Taylor are seeking ways to bring their work to their fans. Anyone with a smart phone can pop out a live stream but if you are expecting people to buy a ticket, then that requires an approach that includes professional production values- lighting, design, decent camera work and so on. Taylor hand his wife/business partner, Elisca have been busy, conceptualising his first lockdown/virtual show. Considerable work has gone into putting this show together- selecting the technology (http://webinar jam) and the ticket platform (https://www.quicket.co.za/). The Taylors are mindful that they are charging people to watch and that it is not good enough to announce that Taylor is “going live”. Time and work has gone into scripting and concept – as they would do with a show for a theatre stage. The web may be a virtual stage but it is a stage in its own right.

Stuart Taylor provides insights into Money’s 2 Tight 2 Mention: The Corona Edition

TheCapeRobyn: This seems like a world away from The Mother City Comedy Festival at the Baxter in February this year – 2020. You co-produced with Siv Ngesi. The festival featured 45 comedians, performing in 35 shows over three weeks. It is mind boggling! And here we are…

Stuart Taylor: We had no idea while we were there that a week later, theatres and the rest of our venues would be shutting down. It makes me wish that I’d been a bit more grateful in those moments for the audiences who came out and the spaces that availed themselves to us.

TheCapeRobyn: Please tell us about the format for Money’s 2 Tight 2 Mention?

Stuart Taylor: It is a 100% LIVE. It is not a download. It will happen in real time.

The logistics:

You go to quicket. Use this link. Buy your ticket. You are sent a link by e-mail.

The link work on all platforms – windows/apple/android. Any smart device out laptop/tablet will open the link.

You then enter an online venue and at 9pm, join the room live from my house.

Then it’s lights, camera action.

TheCapeRobyn: I am thinking of stand up where there is generally interaction: the proverbial front row chat. Is interaction possible with this format?

Stuart Taylor: With Webinar Jam, there is a comments tab scrolling down.  I’ll interact with the comments made by people who are watching. This is the first time that we doing a show on this platform so we will see how it works and what we can do from there in terms of interaction. For now, I’ve got to concentrate on getting through the show material – and the fact that this is very different to being live on stage. It is live from my home to where you are watching

TheCapeRobyn: Is this your first lockdown show?

Stuart Taylor: It is. I’ve spent a long time saying that we can’t just move what we do online because we need to feed off the audience and then occurred to me: How do I know that for sure? How do I know when I can get back into a theatre? I have to give it a try. Who knows. I am hoping that it will work and that the feedback will be positive. If all goes well and fans are keen, I’ll be doing these shows on a monthly basis. I am grateful for all the incredible support that I have received and the fact that people are eager to purchase tickets and that they want to settle down for an hour of comedy, at a specific time. They are telling me that it is like they are booking to go to the theatre, to see  a show.

TheCapeRobyn: The title is self-explanatory. Anything to add?

Stuart Taylor: It’s just a fun, tongue in cheek take on the craziness that is corona times – specifically the financial issues we’re all facing. It’s going to be quite conversational and experimental- a  slightly different offering to the usual http://netflix/series binge people have been doing on Friday nights. Let’s make an event of it. Treat it as a date night. Light some candles and have a picnic in the lounge. It’s going to be a little strange; a little weird but I’m sure a lot of fun.

TheCapeRobyn: Sounds fabulous. Before you go, and continue prepping for the show please tell us about lockdown. How are you and the family doing?

Stuart Taylor: We are very fortunate to be able to do a lockdown in a house with space and comfort and so I rather focus on the positives . We have our health. We are safe. We can stay connected to family via WhatsApp calls. We are just taking this ‘new normal’ in our stride. I am trying to stay flexible in my thinking.

Image credit: Stuart Taylor. Photo supplied.

*Stuart Taylor Money’s 2 Tight 2 Mention: The Corona Edition is at 9pm, Friday May 5, 2020. Tickets are R50 and may be booked at : https://qkt.io/StuartTaylor