Banjo Man at Greater Manchester Fringe 2015

Banjo Man at Greater Manchester Fringe 2015

Quina Chapman pays tribute to her late father Roger Dinsdale, played the banjo on The Grid’s massive 1990s chart-hit Swamp Thing, in her one-woman show Banjo Man at Greater Manchester Fringe 2015.


Banjo Man combines poetry, Quina’s original live music and memories about Roger, who passed away unexpectedly in 2009.


“I didn’t realise how big that track was until I was a lot older. He made his living as a musician with an odd bit of carpeting. He played banjo, guitar and mandolin, and was in two Irish pub bands, Sacred Cow and Pigtown Fling.


“He was spotted by a producer playing with Pigtown Fling in a pub. He said come and record some banjo parts, which he did. That’s how Swamp Thing happened.


“He was with The Grid, as a session musican, for two years and went on tour with them to perform the song. He got to be on Top of the Pops with The Grid twice. I was only seven when it came out and I watched it later on video tape.


“I didn’t really know what it was at the time. I preferred East 17! He was on Record Breakers because I think he was the only unsigned artist to get a platiunum disc that year. The song was used on an advert and in the background of lots of football shows. People would stop him and ask for his autograph. Some of the stories in the play are about that.


“I wanted to make him an album because I sing. But I’m sure he would have said ‘Why are you doing that for me? You make shows, make a show.’


“It’s my first solo show and the first thing I've performed in a long time. I also have a guitarist who sits in the corner, peforming the accompaniment. I’ve always enjoyed singing and I trained in musical theatre so I wrote my own songs for the show.”


Quina, who performed in As Long As You’re Paying at Edinburgh Fringe in 2010, has worked as a community artist for Salford City Council and the Contact Theatre in Manchester. She recently worked on the Flashpoint project in schools.


“I took Banjo Man to Edinburgh Fringe last year and it did pretty well. So I thought I’d perform it nearer my home in Manchester. I’m from Watford and Bedfordshire originally. I went to Salford University and stayed. My mum’s moved up here as well so it is my real home now.


“Mum didn’t help me with it. She didn’t refuse but she didn’t want it to be her story in my show. I asked her to watch a dress rehearsal before I went to Edinburgh, which she didn’t want to do because she wanted to see it as a show and not interfere.


“She saw it in Edinburgh and really enjoyed it and she’s coming to see it in Salford. It gets her vote.  My parents were divorced, which is in the play, but they still had a good relationship.


Quina is a compelling storyteller. Banjo Man is a poignant, moving and entertaining show.


“I’d like to get a tour booked in but I’d like to do a rural tour. I grew up in the countryside so I didn’t get to see much theatre and because it is a really basic show it will tour easily.”


"Quina is a compelling storyteller. Banjo Man is a poignant, moving and entertaining show." - Fringe Review


Now in its fourth year, Greater Manchester Fringe is an umbrella organization run by directors Lisa Connor (Rising Moon Productions), Zena Barrie (King’s Arms and Camden Festival) and Iain Scott (Canal Street Mancs) throughout July, encouraging new talent from the North West and beyond.


Tickets for Banjo Man 28-30 July at the King’s Arms in Salford are available from the link below:


Photo Credit: Shay Rowen


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