American Boy 2014

Live Performance
Duration: 55 mins, no interval
Contains frequent strong language

**** The Guardian
**** The Times
**** Everything Theatre

American Boy premiered at Sadler’s Wells, London on 20 & 21 May 2014.
It will tour in Autumn 2014 and Spring 2015. For further details and booking, contact Gwen Van Spijk: gwen@hetainpatel.com

Making Process
If I asked you to list the films, characters and scenes that have influenced your life, what would it reveal about you? This is how American Boy started.

An avid mimic as a child, I loved partaking in reconstructing the previous night’s films on TV, with my school friends. Fantasising about being archetypal tough, heroic or funny men from Hollywood films formed an important part of my growing up, and if I’m honest this desire and activity still remains in my life now. I still sometimes wish I were Spider-Man. My best friend and I still sometimes have phone conversations solely in film quotes.

American Boy is a solo show made almost entirely from film and TV quotes, which I perform vocally and physically. I made a list from memory of all the films, scenes and characters that have made me, me: Good, bad and everything in between. I’ve tried to be as honest as I can about this, revealing the contradictions in my personality; my dreams and nightmares, my empathy and prejudices. It’s both a self-portrait and a reflection on the mainstream popular culture that moulds much of who we all are, whether we are aware of it or not.

The making process allowed me bring back to life impersonations, dance moves, and fight scenes that are in my body from my school days, along with some new ones I’ve learned for the show. From here, I feel like the performance almost structured itself. Using visual printouts from each film, I put things into an order, learned all the parts, then spent time in the studio with a trusted team of collaborators to help me shape the piece dramaturgically, physically, and visually.

Creative Team

Writer and performer Hetain Patel
(using quotes from films, see below)
Dramaturgs Eva Martinez & Michael Pinchbeck
Choreographic Associate Lorena Randi
Lighting Designer Jackie Shemesh
Costume Hetain Patel
Video & Set Design Jackie Shemesh & Hetain Patel
Production Manager Austin Lawler
Digital Consultant Barret Hodgson
Hetain Patel Manager Gwen Van Spijk
Press Martha Oakes PR

Co- produced and Commissioned by Sadler’s Wells, London. Co-produced by BDE London 2012 Consortium. Development supported by Mercy, Liverpool, and Penned in the Margins, London. American Boy is supported with public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Additional Thanks to Emma Gladstone, Miwa Mitsuhashi, Gemma Bishop, Robert Whitton, the Sadler’s Wells team, YouTube Spidey Community, especially Vinnie Banana who inspired my own Spider-Man suit.

Filmography
Pulp Fiction American Psycho The Matrix
Transformers The Terminator 2 Spider-Man
Gladiator Coming To America X-Men
White Men Can’t Jump Wayne’s World Enter the Dragon
The Simpsons Reservoir Dogs The Shawshank Redemption
The Usual Suspects The Dark Knight Napolian Dynamite
Life Beverly Hills Cop 1&2 Way of the Dragon

Other Impersonations
Michael Caine acting masterclass
Michael Jackson dancing
Bruce Nauman – Walking around the perimeter of a square in an exaggerated manner.
Vinnie Banana AKA Spidey-Skater from YouTube.

Music
Epic Music/Wake of the Matyrs – Secession studios
Monologue 1 – John Cale
The Marriage of Figaro/Duettino - Sull'aria - Mozart
Gloria – Ron Shelton & Woody Harrelson
The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson