Hugs achieved: x1
Tim Green’s 2017 Melbourne Fringe Festival show ‘Jim, with a T’ is a cabaret/story-telling piece that focuses on Jim Henson’s life and work. Tim sees a lot of similarities between his and Jim Henson’s “way of thinking”. “I really like the way he went about his work”, says Tim, “his gentle, calm nature…but he also had a kookiness to him”. Tim particularly appreciates Jim Henson’s “connection to this older world style of comedy…the vaudeville style”.
For his show, Tim hopes to find the balance “between vaudeville and modern” comedy as well as highlight Tim’s more “cynical nature”. Tim stresses that his show isn’t a ‘comedy’ per se, rather it captures both the “simple comedy of the Muppets” and “this kind of darker character…in a world that doesn’t really appreciate” Jim Henson’s work as much as it used to.
As Tim channels his inner Statler and Waldorf (the two old blokes up in the box), he notes that this project has been in the works for some time. In 2003, Tim realised a connection that “had always been there” to Jim Henson’s work. He describes reading a 400 page long “brilliant biography” of the man, and relished learning about “all the stuff Jim was interested in”. But Tim’s deepest connection to Jim Henson’s work arose in 2013 when he was studying musical theatre in Canberra. Tim comments that when he was “dealing with a lot of stuff” in his personal life, he realised the influence of Jim Henson’s work and it “formed a way for me to look past it all”.
“There’s a journey where I’m seeking to try and find the wisdom of his work, and apply it in my own life”, comments Tim. It’s important for Tim that he shares his own experiences with his audience so that they can “know what occurred…if you don’t put that in, people won’t understand the reason the show exists”. Tim hopes to capture the “naivety and simplicity” of The Muppets humour and demonstrate how it affected his life.
Tim reflects on using events in life to shape your direction, and in particular, using the darker moments to help you along. “Jim’s brother was killed in a car accident…and it made him weirdly obsessed with time”. “Jim wrote a song called ‘Time in a bottle’…he became very conscious of how much time he had. He wouldn’t have become who he was without that in his life”, suggests Tim. “I want people to feel those things…but still have that lift at the end. Not everything is over…there’s something there”.
After originally going to university with the “intention of studying history”, Tim has continually been “pulled back in” to performing and other creative outlets. Tim’s dream project is to be involved in some type of performing. “The payout for me is just performing…if I could be involved in writing, producing…comedy or drama…whatever capacity, that would be my ideal”. While we briefly discuss his background of growing up in Coffs Harbour, his experience as an eight year old doing drama class, the shenanigans of the University of New South Wales theatre society or his podcast ‘Yeah G’day’, I’m most keen to hear about who his favourite Muppet is. “Kermit surprisingly…or Rowlf”, responds Tim. “Rowlf is the piano playing dog…he’s kinda got that laid back” nature says Tim, who enjoys his “vaudeville…puns and silliness”.
Tim hopes that he can capture Jim Henson’s story in good faith. He notes “it’s a story that shouldn’t be forgotten”. ‘Jim, with a T’ will capture some darker moments but through songs and story telling will see the lighter side; “at the centre of it, there’s silliness” and a “really lovely simple world view”. He adds that it is about “finding the thing” that helps someone get through whatever they are going through. “This is his story…this is my story”.
Check out Tim Green’s 2017 Melbourne Fringe Festival show ‘Jim, with a T’, from 16 to 23 September 2017. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.
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