Not ones to let a Bank Holiday get in the way of a blog, we grabbed WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK‘s Gabriel Benn to talk touring, musical influences and uh, Beyoncé and Jay-Z…
Is this the first theatre production that you’ve toured with?
Yeah, it is. It’s a whole new experience. The tour dates are all first time visits for a lot of the cast and it’s great, being in all these different places and having the chance for the cast to explore and have good walks around. I think Lincoln was probably the most unexpected surprise. It was such a beautiful city; I managed to have a good wander down the old cobbled streets to explore the old town and the cathedral.
Can you tell us a little bit about what made you get in to music and DJ-ing?
Good question! I remember Mark Ronson being a big inspiration when I was about 14 because he was DJ-ing and making music and looking really cool. He’d just released Ooh Wee, if you remember that? It was around that time and I liked what he was doing a lot.
My dad gave me some decks that Christmas and I started making music. My friends and I got into producing electronic mostly, and then I started travelling and producing to expand my musical vocabulary. I started in Ghana at first, being a very rhythmical place as far as music goes, so that helped me expand my abilities. Then Columbia afterwards which had an amazing variety of rhythm and it just made me push the musical boundaries that I’d set myself. It allowed me to grow, and if you learn more you can do more.
Have you brought those influences into the way that you work with Martyna and Seroca during WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK?
I think so, because being influenced by other world rhythms has allowed me, in a sense, to infuse those rhythms into the performance and that has helped me to adapt to the strong rhythms of Garage.
Were you into Garage when you were younger or has being part of WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK expanded your knowledge of it?
It has expanded my knowledge hugely – I came in late because I’m 25 so I was only 11 when people like our leading actor, Seroca, were going out to the raves. But five years later I started DJ-ing all kinds of electronic and picked out quite a lot of Garage from the back catalogue of music, so I was always playing bits and bobs of Garage and really loved it. This show helped me understand why Garage meant so much to so many people.
Finally, what can or should an audience expect?
Well, audiences so far have loved the music which has been nice. There’s been a lot of laughter at the pop culture references from 2001 like Starbucks and E4 which had just launched. It’s been great because it makes people reflect on things that are now such a strong part of our lives – even things like Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s relationship! – and that’s been really fun. The musical elements of the show have really been a success because people have got up and danced and sang along -they’re visibly happy at hearing some of their favourite songs which is great.