Jukebox Drive by Enigmatic Events. Victoria Fringe 2017. An interview with Chris Rudram.

Jukebox Drive by Enigmatic Events. Victoria Fringe 2017. An interview with Chris Rudram.

In addition to producing shows at the Victoria Fringe Festival, Enigmatic Events also hosts murder mystery evenings which I’ve written about here.

How long have you been producing work on the Fringe circuit?  As an artist/company?

This is our second year doing Fringe as company.  Some of us have been fringing for years on stage.

I’ve personally have gone from an occasional attendee, to someone who put up a few reviews online to someone billeted an artist four years ago. And from there, got inspired to produce my own fringe show. Because it looked like everyone else was having fun.

And now I’m a two-time Artist (very lucky with the lottery!).

And this year I have about 60 seconds at the start of the show in front of the curtain, so now I guess I can say I’ll be have been a performer as well, even if I’m only playing host. That’s been an odd journey of discovery for myself.  And it does have its own soundtrack in my head. Go back five years and the idea of me having anything to do with being on stage would have had me going back to my room to play loud records on my own.

Is this your first visit to Victoria? (ha!)

Nope. I’ve lived here for ten years, after immigrating from the UK.

Have you been (or will you be) taking the show to other Fringes?

We are going to Nanaimo Fringe the week before Victoria Fringe. And that’s it for this year. If it goes well, we’ll probably apply for other fringes in the future.

Is your show a new work, or has it been performed elsewhere?

Jukebox Drive is new for 2017, using the lessons we learned from our 2016 show A Quiet Season.  

Significant awards or accolades? (not just on the Fringe circuit)

Enigmatic Events was awarded a ‘Ten to Watch’ from the Douglas Magazine in 2016.

Can you speak to the creation process of this work?

Jukebox Drive is a continuation on what I’m finding I’m really interested in a producer/creator: creating the framework for people to tell stories.  And this is an understanding I’ve only really come to in the last few months.  And the rest of the team also share aspects of this passion; especially the collaborative nature of improvised storytelling, finding ideas and seeing how they play out.

The core idea actually came backstage at A Quiet Season last year, after thinking about the review we had from Showbill.ca; and from some comments.  While the team was improvising each night, it wasn’t clear where the ideas were coming from; and the link between audience suggestion and performance was not there.  And that’s important, as it creates a certain tension and resolution in the scenes.  One of the most enjoyable parts of production for me is creating soundtracks. I’m often moved by the choices made for film and TV with the music they choose. I thought that using music -for- the offers would be an interesting way to create that connection.  As music can create an emotional response (for me at least) that is deeper than any other medium.

So, once again, I went back to storytelling role playing games. I found Avery Alder’s game ‘Ribbon Drive’, and built the concept out from there. Unlike A Quiet Season, it’s much less of a role playing performance though, as the characters in each show are freshly minted by the actors each night.

Natasha Guerra once again was key in being there to talk ideas through, understand the mechanics of theatre and get a different perspective.  We took away the parts of ‘Ribbon Drive’ that we thought would work for a performance (music, goals and the road trip concept) and built out this idea: An Improvised Roadtrip with music providing the back drop. We took lessons from what worked and didn’t work last year. The stories told were the right balance of dramatic and comedy.  There was some wonderful discoveries about the characters we hadn’t thought about until we went live.

So with the rest of the team we rehearsed, tested and built the show – the music we wanted to have selected from, the key themes, how much or how little we need on stage, the format and so forth.  I want there to be collaboration in all parts of the process.

Who will your show appeal to?

Fans of improv.  People who play old LPs on record players. Anyone whose read High Fidelity, perhaps. Or anyone whose sat and created their own spotify play lists for their mood. People who like something with a slight edge to themes on stage.

What would you say to entice a potential audience member to come?

It’s at the VEC (Victoria Event Centre), so there’s a bar!  There’s great music.  There’s interesting improv.

What do you hope to inspire in your audience?

If people get some appreciation for music they might not like, they’ve had a similar experience to me in building this show; and that would be good.  If they get inspired to think about how we change as people on our journeys (metaphorical or literal), even better!

And if, like me over the few years I’ve been ‘Fringing’ get inspired to get more involved in fringe, that’d be fantastic too.

Is there anything I’ve missed asking you, or that you would like to comment on?

I’ve talked about collaboration, and wanted to mention I’m really lucky to be working with Bill Nance (Sin City, Greater Victoria Shakespeare Festival), Amy Culliford (Enchanted Fables, Sin City), Natasha Guerra (UVic Phoenix Theatre) and Emily Bamlett (UVic Phoeix Theatre)again; and we’ve also got Jonah McKeen (UVic Phoenix Theatre)joining us.  Without this collaboration, and building of trust, there wouldn’t be a show.

Jukebox Drive by Enigmatic Events
Venue 1, Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad Street
Tickets $11/$9 at Ticket Rocket or at the door
Duration: 50 minutes
Improvisation, Music, Drama
PG 14+ Coarse language

Aug 24 Thursday 07:30 pm
Aug 25 Friday 11:15 pm
Aug 26 Saturday 12:45 pm
Aug 27 Sunday 06:00 pm
Sep 01 Friday 09:15 pm
Sep 02 Saturday 09:30 pm

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1389587624455783/?ref=br_rs

Victoria, BC:
Enigmatic Events presents a new, improvised show about road trips, music and the inspiration that comes from both.  Jukebox Drive uses a sound track created from a variety of well-known (and some less well known) records to inspire the cast. The audience gets to select the start and end of the journey, and the random number generator the rest. And the cast improvises to tell a tale, looking at how people can change while on the road.

With Bon Jovi, they speed away from the scene of a crime; with Sinatra, they share their first kiss; with Adele, they spread the ashes of their dead friend. With music providing the backdrop, the actors of Jukebox Drive take a different improvised road trip each night, with a soundtrack influenced by the audience.

More details can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/207817176409056

About Enigmatic Events:

Enigmatic Events provides mysteries, puzzles and games for both entertainment and personal development. We love people it when people collaborate and create new stories.  A wise man once told us that a day is never wasted if you did three things in it: improved yourself a little bit, improved the world a little bit and found some joy. Enigmatic Events uses this philosophy behind the events it produces.

The show would like to thank Cask Strength Designs, Alyssa Crowder and Paparazzi Nightclub for their support on this project.

About @lacouvee

Community Builder. Catalyst. Speaker. Writer. Arts Advocate.

Passionate about bridging online and offline communities to effect positive change.

I truly believe that one person can make a difference and that we all have our own lives to live, creatively, while respecting the unique nature of others.


  1. […] Chris Rudram, the founder of Enigmatic Events, loves games. And, he loves incorporating games and improv with theatre. A fervent supporter of the Fringe, he initially hosted artists and wrote the occasional review.  Producing a show represents a big step.  The cast is comprised of regulars in Victoria’s improv community—you’ll be in good hands.  Read my interview with Chris here: http://janislacouvee.com/jukebox-drive-enigmatic-events-victoria-fringe-2017-interview-chris-rudram/ […]

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