Bedfringe 2021 Interview: Sparky TKO – Bridging the Gap

“I mix passion, politics, romance, humour and a wardrobe symbolising ambitions that vastly outweigh the realities of my ‘best life’.”

WHO: Sparky TKO: Poet, musician, noisemaker

WHAT: “Sparky TKO creates stories and documents experience through the medium of poetry and song. Their personal and universal themes range from empowered, impassioned and political, to absurd, off-kilter and daft. Their unashamed love for casual-glam aesthetic and grand formality of cabaret often contrasts with the jagged-edged sonic punk melody, and unpolished nosedives into improvisation.

‘Bridging the Gap’ will see Sparky showcase new material, as well as selecting (and often re-interpreting) pieces from their last 3 fringe shows – ‘A Year in Sixty Minutes’ (2015), ‘Mansplaining’ (2017) and ‘Welsh America’ (2019), with the events of the last 18 months having added additional pertinence to themes such as connection, perpetual motion and hope.

Their 25th July show will be performed acoustically, and 28th July electronically.”

WHERE: Quarry Theatre

WHEN: 25 July 2021 @ 11:00 & 28 July 2021 @ 19:30 (30-60mins)

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Is this your first time to Bedfringe?

This is my sixth time at Bedfringe, my five-year unbroken run inevitably being interrupted by the pandemic last year.

Aside from it being practically on my doorstep (give or take a few hedge/fence manoeuvres), I feel Bedfringe is special because it takes risks and packs a diverse range of productions and performers into such a short space of time. I always enjoy coming down to the Quarry during Bedfringe, whether performing, watching a show, or just hanging out at the bar, because of the positive energy and welcoming vibe. The July sunshine invariably helps too!

What are the big things you’ve learned since 2019 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?

On a personal note, it’s been to value my gifts, but also my boundaries – I feel I’ve often taken on more than I could reasonable manage because of perceived expectations.

On a more collective note, I think boundaries apply to us all, whether it’s demanding our four square meters of space, ensuring people get a permit before hugging/touching us, and generally being more considerate of each other’s wellbeing.

Tell us about your show.

My previous fringe shows – ‘A Year in Sixty Minutes‘, ‘Mansplaining and ‘Welsh America‘ – have merged a thematically linked selection of my poems and songs with a corresponding narrative arc. With ‘Bridging the Gap‘, I’m reviewing these under new lenses, particularly given the perspectives we’ve all gained in the last year and a half or so. If you’ve never seen me before, it can basically act as a beginner’s guide to my creative musings, and if you have, there will be new poems as well as revisions of the older ones.

I mix passion, politics, romance, humour and a wardrobe symbolising ambitions that vastly outweigh the realities of my “best life”.

What should your audience see at Bedfringe after they’ve seen your show?

Oh, without a doubt go and see Thomas Benjamin Wild esq. The man is hilarious!
But there’s so much – I’d recommend Juliette Burton and Simon Munnery for comedy, ‘Twas a Dark and Stormy Night for poetry, and the Blender Takeover for music – they curate a stage without a variety of fantastic local musicians.