Simon Mole and Gecko are the creators of Mole and Gecko: The Show, a comedy performance that tells the story of a mole and a gecko, alongside the help of the audience. The show is full of live songs, rap stories, instant poems and a weasel with a serious biscuit problem. Their UK Spring tour begins this February. With ditties such as The Name Song & The Friend Ship Song, there’s guaranteed fun for both children and adults alike …
1. What initially brought the two of you together to come up with the Mole & Gecko: The Show?
Mole: Gecko came to Maidenhead where I live and we did a storytelling performance for kids together. My son, now 4, absolutely loved him. On every single car journey for about 4 months he wanted to listen to Gecko’s album. It just felt like together we could do something really fun for kids with music and poetry and developed quite organically from there.
2. Your show is an interactive rap musical that the audience plays a part in creating, in what ways do you let them get involved?
Gecko: As the show goes on the audience’s part grows. At first they might be helping us with an idea for a word or doing silly actions but by the end they will help us decide how the show will end!
3. When creating a show that both children and parents will love, what challenges have you come up against? Is there anything in there solely for the adults that we wouldn’t find elsewhere?
Mole: We wanted to create a show that, like the best family movies, has multiple layers and something for everyone. The show has lots of fun with big characters that obviously appeal to kids, but there is a lot of entertaining word play between them which I think works for the adults too. We’ve also included a few hilarious moments of outright silliness as well. These were great fun to write, and it seems from the feedback so far they work for everyone no matter what age!
It was also fantastic to write some music for kids that the adults will recognise as proper music too. I think I speak for many a parent when I say Wheels on the Bus has its limits!
4. Simon – since becoming a dad you’ve been writing a lot more for young people. Do you test all your new material out at home?
I definitely try! My eldest is now 4 so this is increasingly possible and he is certainly getting a lot more understanding for what daddy does as work now. The great thing is how honestly he gives his opinion!
I think I have growing competition as the poet and performer in the house though. One minute he’s doing the floss for the whole extended family, the next he is looking thoughtfully into the distance at bedtime and saying (I quote) “daddy, why are the days so short, and the nights so long?”
5. Gecko – with titles such as “iPhone, therefore I am” and ‘Rapunzel’, your songs tend to take on a humorous and satirical tone. Is this talent something you’ve had to work at, or does it come naturally to you?
I think it reflects my personality but my songs are an excuse to take this personality to its extreme. I love writers that use humour in their work. A big influence for me is Randy Newman. I think his style has seeped into what I do.
And just for fun…
6. What is something that is really popular now, but in 5 years everyone will look back on and be embarrassed by?
Mole: At risk of making myself very unpopular with my core audience: the floss, and unicorn obsession.
Gecko: I think when baby shark’s 5th album comes out it might be wearing a bit thin.
7. What thing do you know you should know how to do, but don’t?
Mole: Using a microwave to both cook and defrost things. It’s weird because I’m a pretty good cook, they just freak me out. My excuse is that I never had one growing up!
8. How useful would you both be in a zombie apocalypse? What skills do you have that would help you and others survive?
Mole: Poems and songs for sure. They can always help weather the hard times!
Gecko: I can climb up vertical walls
9. What childish thing do you still enjoy?
Mole: Skateboarding. I was never great, but I take my son to the skate park with his scooter so I can have a little skate myself!
Gecko: Trampoline parks, you always get cool socks when you go too.
10. When was the last time you both Googled yourselves?
Mole: Er, today! It seems necessary (though often demoralising) as an artist is to know how many strangers with the same name are ranking higher in Google searches, despite making no effort to do so. I am currently competing with Simon Mole the amateur ping pong player and Simon Mole the divorce lawyer from Colorado.
Gecko: I Google Mole and Gecko on the Mac laptops in apple shops and leave it there in the hope to boost ticket sales.
Love comedy? You’ll LOVE our interview with International Keynote Speaker Gavin Oattes.