On stage, Ross Travis and Nathaniel Justiniano of Naked Empire Bouffon (@NakdEmprBouffon), are unrecognizable. Performing as Patches and Shreds, the two actors are completely transformed inside hideous bodysuits complete with a swinging phallus and blacked-out teeth. Their show “You Killed Hamlet” – coming to the Mainline Theatre November 14th through 17th – combines “parody, poetry, song, and extreme physical comedy” to form a “high-impact satirical sport.” Centered around Shakespearean themes of death and coping, this performance has no taboos. An excellent show for fans of irreverent humor, biting social commentary, and rampant depravity. And, apparently, Grandmas. Grandmas love it. Learn why in our exclusive interview with Travis and Justiniano below.
Should I take my grandmother to this show?
Sure! Bring Grandma! The show is all about death and dying, and who knows more about that subject then those about to kick the bucket? We had one Grandma come see us in Vancouver. She stood up at the end of the show and yelled “Encore!” then she died right there. Literally. Just slumped over and died a happy lady.
Ever punched an audience member? Or been punched by one?
Never had an audience member kick our ass … yet. Nathaniel prefers to fight inanimate objects. In San Francisco he did a flying facedive into the stage and knocked out his front two teeth. So now he has fakes. Basically, audiences don’t need to punch us because we kick our own asses. Just sit back and laugh at the gore factory we create.
While on tour – do you guys sleep in a van? Motels? Who talks in their sleep? Who’s the sleep walker?
We usually camp. One of us hates it. The other loves it. One of us snores and grinds his teeth. The other has an elaborate ritual of setting up enough blankets and pads to try to feel like he’s in an actual bed indoors. We sleep in separate tents so we can sleep in our own cloud of fart and don’t have to mix our butt smells.
Why the exposed penises? The blacked-out teeth? What role does the ugliness play in the play’s message?
We are just celebrating our god-given attributes. Our bodies are beautiful landscapes and we love to flaunt them in full glory. We have our teeth done on a regular schedule by a really great dentist in San Francisco. But because we don’t have health care, and because of our smell, he usually works on us in an alley out behind his practice at an extremely reduced rate. He does really good work though. We think dental health is important.
Does this show get you a lot of ass? Do you have a favorite, “Hey, I’m an actor” pick up line?
Well, one of us is in a monogamous relationship with another man. The other one uses the pick up line: “Great legs, what time do they open?” and usually gets a slap and a drink in the face. Usually he ends up going home and spanking it to Pornhub. We’ll let you figure out who is who. Seriously though, if anyone wants to make love to us all they have to do is ask nicely.
In your comedy is anything off limits?
Nope. Pretty much not. But we often push each others buttons by forcing each other to acknowledge our own prejudices. It’s glorious and painful.