f.a.b. – The Detonators are Brasilian Tiago Gambogi and English Margaret Swallow.
f.a.b. – The Detonators became one of the brightest young performance companies to emerge in the UK on their return to the country in 2001. Since that time they have established themselves as a dynamic, mature company producing work of vision and humour.
Offering an engaging and dynamic blend of dance, theatre, design and music with a liberal helping of humour, the company is leaving an ever growing trail of thrilled and delighted audiences in their wake with previous productions that include ‘Carrot King’ (1999), directed by Mark Phoenix; ‘My Generation – infância caleidoscópica’ (2001), directed by the company; ‘Made in Brasil’ (2005), directed by Nigel Charnock. “…Stimulating…inventive…to the point…” (Venue Magazine, on ‘Made in Brasil’)
Already renowned for their energetic, passionate performances and their intimate approach to theatre, f.a.b. – The Detonators share their flights of imagination and their unique reflections on society with a contemporary theatrical audience. Using a wide variety of techniques, including improvisation and Grotowsky’s physical actions principle, they create a theatrical extravaganza – a distinctive, vigorous mix of dance, movement, text and music.
f.a.b. – The Detonators are Associated Artists with Swindon Dance.
About the Performers/Choreographers:
Tiago Gambogi is a passionate Brasilian dancer, actor, choreographer and joint artistic director of physical theatre company f.a.b. – The Detonators, formed with Margaret Swallow in 1999. He trained at Fundação Clóvis Salgado (Brasil)< and at Laban Centre (London). Tiago worked with various artists and companies: Nigel Charnock, Gail Sneddon / modusforum, New Theatre Works, Institute for Crazy Dancing, Meridian Dance Theatre, Manoeuvre Dance, Gary Rowe, Fionnbarr Productions, Lisa May Thomas (UK); Grupo Oficcina Multimédia, Cesar Volpe (Brasil); Paulo Ribeiro (Lisbon, Portugal) and Jan Benes-McGadie (Prague, Czech Republic). “…Tiago Gambogi, the darling of the public, was given the opportunity to show not only his comic talent and acrobatic prowess but also a striking ability to look endearing and utterly in love.” (Dance Season 1999).
Amongst other commissions, he has choreographed and directed circus/physical theatre group Trampulim (Brazil, 2001) in ‘A Ponte’, inspired by Anton Chekhov’s Ward n°6; ‘Skin’ (2006), a piece for five Brazilian dancers/performers; ‘ID’ (2007) directing Bath Dance Forum, and ‘Sweet Dreams’ (2007), a physical theatre commission for four performers from The Egg / Theatre Royal Bath that had a successful 2-week run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. “A slick and original piece of dance concerning adult issues…fast paced dance combined with snappy dialogue convey the relationships of the four characters, who flirt, fight, marry and honeymoon together…a great show, the energy and loveliness of this cast was uplifting.” 4 stars given by Three Weeks Magazine, Edinburgh Festival 2007.
For those who really need to know, Margaret Swallow was born in international waters as her parents returned, via ship, from South Africa. She therefore has true international status. Margaret originally trained in 3D design in the UK (which she says “is like dance, but just happens to be very still!”) before going on to live and work in San Francisco. On her return to the UK she undertook contemporary dance training at the Laban Centre in London. There she met Tiago Gambogi with whom she founded the physical theatre company f.a.b. – The Detonators. Whilst in London she continued her theatre training – in devised theatre, theatre improvisation, physical theatre and singing.
She has directed and performed in several different projects, including her dance theatre piece Unfit for Habitation (Prague, 1999). After this successful piece she moved once more, this time to Brazil, where she lived and worked for two years. She worked first as a dancer for Cesar Volpe and Tiago Gambogi and, after this, with Tiago in their first duet “My Generation – infância caleidoscópica”.
In 2003 she made her first dance for camera work Would You Adam and Eve It! and her work in this field is ongoing. Her most recent pieces for camera include Three In A Boat (UK 2007), Felicidade (Happiness) and Ahhh – Very Maria! (Brasil 2008). She is currently involved in the pre-production stage of her next film “Barely Wrinkled”.
‘EXTRAORDINARY’, f.a.b. – The Detonators’ new physical theatre production completed a successful tour to the following venues in 2008:
Tour dates – 2008
Friday 23rd May Bridport Arts Centre, Dorset
Friday 20th June Ustinov Theatre Royal Bath
Saturday 21st June Ustinov Theatre Royal Bath
Friday 3rd October Dorchester Corn Exchange, Dorset
Tuesday 7th October Alsager Arts Centre, Lancashire
Thursday 16th October The Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton
Wednesday 22nd October Michaelis Dance Theatre, Roehampton
Saturday 8th November Pound Arts, Corsham, Wiltshire
Reviews and quotes
“Hugely enjoyable, highly entertaining, laugh-out-loud dance theatre!”
“Some people have the knack of creating hugely enjoyable, highly entertaining, laugh-out-loud dance theatre. The charismatic duo of Tiago Gambogi and Maggi Swallow (aka f.a.b. – The Detonators) certainly manage to do this, as this colourful foray into the two-dimensional world of the Hollywood movie demonstrates. Yet even as we rock with laughter at the individual moments – Tiago cavorting in multi-coloured lycra and wig/Maggi salsaing in fruit-encrusted headgear – the surface froth conceals an underlying melancholy(…)…stories of an unconventional childhood, a repossessed home, a lost dog and belief in the reality of movies…(…) As for the movement, what they achieved within the Ustinov’s compact confines was indeed ‘Extraordinary’, with Tiago revealing an amazing ability simply to spring skywards, while the ‘white shirt’ heads down 9 to 5 reality sequence provided an interesting counterpoint to the previous celluloid madness. And who will forget Tiago metamorphosing into a lounge singer (complete with white jacket still bearing a price tag) displaying his considerable vocal talents? But for me the evenings’ most memorable moment was a touching scene where this Venue double Top Banana winner tried in vain to woo Maggi beneath an inflatable palm tree – carrying a giant banana!”
★★★★VENUE MAGAZINE, Lesley Barnes
“An intriguing and enigmatic treat for the senses.”
Andrew Smaje, Associate Director, Ustinov Theatre Royal Bath
“….inventive choreography, a colourful production, appealing contemporary dance!”
THE BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE
“Brazilian Tiago Gambogi’s amazing talent as a singer and dancer are coupled with a magnetic stage presence, while Margaret Swallow brings a touching innocence to her character along with athletic dance skills…an eclectic mix of acrobatic dance styles that are both energetic and engaging…Welcome breath of live theatre!”
“This is indeed a FAB show! Wonderful to see f.a.b. – The Detonators at the peak as artists who are in their prime physically and artistically in a show which is adult, absorbing and appealing to all those who have lived and loved…”
Kate Castle, Director, Dance South West
”Once again, f.a.b. – The Detonators bring to ‘Extraordinary’ their highly distinctive blend of dark, surreal humour, as they take us on a beguiling journey of discovery by way of film noir, Hollywood musicals, Brazilian talent shows, danger and romance. Maggi and Tiago are truly ‘extraordinary’ guides lighting the way for us.”
Chris Fogg, Director of Dance & Theatre, Take Art
”Extraordinary is a fantastic high-energy performance with a great mix of polished choreography, quirky drama, music and film – a recipe for a great night’s entertainment. As always when f.a.b. – The Detonators visit Bridport the audience left uplifted and buzzing.”
Gjenya Cambray, Programmer Bridport Arts Centre
“Anyone who is interested in theatre and dance should see this production. This is contemporary dance and physical theatre at its very best – FAB!”
Kevin O’Sullivan, Arena Theatre Theatre Manager
'EXTRAORDINARY' - f.a.b. - The Detonators' Tour 2008