Interview: ‘Confetti and Chaos’ star Rebecca Fortuna on weddings, dysfunctional families and interactive theatre

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Interview: ‘Confetti and Chaos’ star Rebecca Fortuna on weddings, dysfunctional families and interactive theatre

Confetti and Chaos
Words by Sidonie Bird de la Coeur

Interactive Theatre International invite you to the Victorian premiere show of 'Confetti and Chaos' at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

As a fully immersive experience, the audience become the guests at “the worst wedding reception you’ll ever go to” and are invited to join in on the chaos of a dysfunctional family over a three course meal. Featuring four performers playing nine different characters, Confetti and Chaos keeps its guests on their toes.

In this show, actor Rebecca Fortuna plays the bride, crazy aunt and incompetent waiter. “A lot has to go into preparing for it,” she says on her process of switching between characters in an improvised show, “for me its costume – the wardrobe of the character is really important, specifically shoes. Backstage, when I’m switching between characters, some of the changeovers can be quite quick – it’s like I’m stepping out of one character and stepping into the next character.”

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With an extensive resume of professional credits across film, television and theatre, Rebecca has fully embraced the world of immersive theatre within Confetti and Chaos. “I love this show so much. It’s such a wild ride for me as an actor, coming out as three very different characters. It’s also such a wild ride of the audience – I love the joy and the laughter in the room. Because it is immersive, from the moment the audience arrives they are the guests at the wedding … they get so invested and involved in it! When they’re calling out, and they’re reacting to things, it all of a sudden is a family wedding. That is just the best part and what I absolutely love about it; the audience involvement – and the chaos of it. It’s really fun, and really rewarding as an actor.”

“The joy of the show is – once you’re sitting there you can just enjoy the chaos, and play into it, because it’s not actually your family. There’s no consequences; if you’re actually at a family event and something bad happens you know there’s going to be awkward conversations about it later, but there’s none of that so you just get to enjoy that wild ride without consequences.”

Confetti and Chaos was developed as a stage show in England, debuting in 2015 and has since appeared in the Brighton and Edinburgh Fringe festivals. “The heart of the show and the themes of the show are universal – weddings, love, dysfunctional families,” Rebecca continues, “we definitely did a big script rewrite when we did rehearsals in 2019 – we had a split cast that were half UK, half Australian, and we had to make that work, and redevelop where these characters come from. Once it was handed over to a full Australian cast … some characters changed completely and a lot of stuff had to be rewritten … for example the bride went from being an English character to an Australian character. Same with me playing the waiter – a lot of that had to be rewritten for the way that Australians talk and the different little nuances in our cultures that had to be shifted.”


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Have you ever been to any weddings where things haven’t gone exactly to plan? “I just had my sister’s wedding on the weekend and there was all sorts of things going wrong – you know, the cake lady got COVID and we had to get the cake there – all these little things where we were just wondering what’s going to go wrong next … then we were 45 minutes late to the ceremony, the groom ended up getting heatstroke because he’d been standing outside for so long.”

“I’ve been to a lot of weddings in my time. I’m also from a big Italian family – we have those big 300 people weddings – and they’re an interesting time. I’m getting married next year and just trying to avoid life from imitating art in this situation. But who knows, maybe because of the show, I’ll know how to deal with it if it does – right?”

Rebecca plays Sybil Fawlty in The Fawlty Towers Dining Experience, another immersive theatre piece by Interactive Theatre International, and I was interested in whether the audience interaction was different between improvised shows with pre-established characters as opposed to a completely original script.

“With Fawlty Towers they come in with an expectations – you have to be Sybil and I have to do justice to Prunella Scales and her character, whereas with Confetti and Chaos they’re coming in blind … not knowing who they’re going to meet and there is a lot of fun in that. If (the audience) has seen The Fawlty Towers Dining Experience they’ll know what to expect from interactive theatre – they come in expecting to have a good time and hopefully we deliver on that!”

Confetti and Chaos runs at 120 minutes in length and is showing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from 20 – 24 April. Suitable for audiences 16+. Buy tickets here.