FRINGE 18 | 5 mins with John Burrows

Can you work out who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? In Judge, Jury & Cookie Monster, the audience play the jury; together with a handful of actors and a special guest, in this interactive comedy trial, you set the verdict: Guilty or Not guilty.

We chat to the mastermind behind Judge, Jury and Cookie Monster, John Burrows. John, an Auckland resident, has been pushing the creative, interactive boundaries of theatre for many years, his previous shows include, Delivery#17, a show that sent his audience on a quest through the streets of Auckland.

Is this your first Fringe Auckland?
No, Brought ‘Delivery #17’ to AKL Fringe 2017 which was an evolution of ‘Delivery #16’ first presented in Edinburgh Fringe 2016

How different is an Auckland audience to other audiences?
Unsure if this is asking ‘How Auckland Fringe audiences are different from Auckland Audiences’ or ‘How Auckland Fringe audiences are different from international fringe audiences’?
Auckland: The beautiful thing about the Fringe festival is that people are actively interested in something different, there anticipation of the shows are framed with the expectation that this is delightfully different. Regardless of comfort zones it makes audiences more open and likely to leave their preconceptions at the door.
International: It’s hard to compare Auckland Fringe to Edinburgh the largest Fringe Festival in the world. There the population trebles in size for a full month. It’s an absolute cacophony of voices, images, ideas and energy. What it does afford audiences is the opportunity to see theatre, artists and types of work on a bigger stage or platform then they normally get. Its explosive and exposing in a way that is now commonplace in larger Fringe’s.

Describe your show in three words or less…
Crazy kooky comedy

Fringe Festivals are known for the weird, wacky, and utterly wonderful – what’s the most bizzare thing you’ve come across during your Fringe history?
I didn’t actually see it but Edinburgh Fringe 2016 had “Come Look At Baby” a half hour piece of theatre in which you could look at a baby for half an hour.

What are your top 3 picks for Auckland Fringe?
Other than ‘Judge, Jury & Cookie Monster’ right?

  • Shot Bro: Confessions Of A Depressed Bullet (I’ve seen the show and it’s a necessary, honest and beautiful piece of theatre – good thing too as it clashes with JJC)
  • It’s A Trial (Only on for one night this interactive trial, unlike ours, dives into fact not fiction with a real issue to be debated)
  • Roots (Sharing Q Loft with us during the second week of the fringe PAT is a company to watch and see at every opportunity)

Where will we find you during the festival?
Other than Q Theatre in the Loft & Lounge… Basement Theatre is practically a second home for me.

What would we find if we raided your fridge?
Very little of mine. Just my flatmates. Working during the day and rehearsals into the night… producing everywhere in between has put me on a fairly out of the house diet

Tell us about your spirit animal?
I’m a puppy. Always a puppy. Playful as all hell and eager to have a good time.

Word Association:
Fringe – Fun
Fridge – Food
Auckland – Traffic
Festival – Fun
Lights – Camera
Chocolate – Chips
Winter – Wonderland
Theatre – Passion

Don’t miss John Burrow’s Judge, Jury & Cookie Monster at Q Theatre Tues 27 Feb – Sat 3 March. Buy tickets here.