STIFYN PARRI | STAGE INTERVIEW
‘They will never have read this anywhere, they will never have seen it in the press, they will never have seen it in the news. They’re stories that only I know, and having worked with all the big stars, I get to know anything’. Already faced with the highly ambitious feat of performing an unscripted one-man show in both English and Welsh, Stifyn Parri has bravely decided to bare all in Shut Your Mouth, spilling a series of intimate secrets and outrageous anecdotes culminated from his highly decorated showbiz career.
Discussing his major accomplishments as a producer (hence his nickname Mr Producer), including the Wales Millennium Centre and Ryder Cup opening ceremonies, Parri attributes his motivation to single-handedly craft Shut Your Mouth to a desire for total independence in expressing his creativity; ‘I’ve done pretty massive things, but I’ve always been answerable to the client. I’ve had to work with diminishing budgets, clients changing their minds, various logistical problems and I thought it was about time that I did something on my terms, where I wasn’t answerable to anybody at all’.
Keen to push the boundaries of contemporary performing arts with this ‘slightly bonkers and slightly unbelievable but absolutely true’ performance, Parri hopes that sharing his stories in separate performances in English and Welsh will help to enhance the show’s highly personal touch. ‘I think it’s nice for people to choose what language they see my show in and you don’t get that opportunity very often. I was brought up bilingually and speaking English and Welsh comes totally naturally to me. Therefore because I was doing a show that was going to reflect me honestly, I was able to do that in both English and Welsh, so I was able to cater to two different audiences’.
Sure to shock audiences with a generous helping of juicy celeb gossip, with Shirley Bassey, Grace Jones and Prince Charles amongst those to be named and (possibly) shamed, Parri has certainly found the right time to share all. ‘I’ve realised that I’ve been rehearsing for this show all my life. I’ve worked with so many people over the years, and I’ve got so many stories that only I could ever tell. You’ll get to hear outrageous stories that you’ll never hear anywhere else’.
Wed 30 (Cymraeg) + Thurs 31 August (English)
Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff
words ELERI CROSSLAND