Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Rated 6th in the Top 10 Shows to See with Your Boyfriend at Edinburgh Fringe 2012 by the Daily Record

As I am currently engaged in a clandestine war against any other critics who might divert traffic away from my blog, I am sympathetic to those journalists who are racing against deadlines and desperately trying to come up with attention grabbing headlines. So, when the Daily Record announced a Top Ten Shows to See with Your Boyfriend, the confusion I felt (what if you are single? and why take a boyfriend? what does it mean?) was balanced by respect. 

After all, it got my attention.

Anyway, Somebody's Theatre's Built for Two got placed at number six. Even co-creator Emma Beverley is a little mystified. "If we are completely honest, we aren’t entirely sure!" she admits.  "Our Producer, Emma, hadn’t sent out the production’s press release yet, so we weren’t expecting such an interest in the show so soon. We think the Daily Record may have seen us in the programme, and gone on to look at our website and video blogs to find out more about Built for Two. Either way, we must be doing something right! To be in the ‘boyfriend’ category is perfect for our show too, as it is based entirely upon the relationships of four people."

Lucy Kempster and Emma Beverley wrote the four-hander and agreed to explain themselves to me. 

Where did the idea for the show come from?

Our entire ethos as a company is writing about nobodies; down to earth, regular-living people who we know and understand (because we are them). Whilst ‘write what you know’ may be slightly cliché nowadays our writers, Lucy and Emma, felt that they couldn’t create honest representations of anybody they didn’t have a genuine connection with. We also knew that we only had four actors, two male and two female, which automatically suggested that closely-knit relationships would be the way forward. Surprisingly, the title came before the concept. We all loved the idea of four people sharing a space only designed for two, climbing over one another and pushing personal-space boundaries!

Our Director, Lucy, wrote a poem about a pair of toothbrushes who were in a relationship with one another. This led to Emma and her deciding that a bathroom could be an incredibly interesting, and challenging, setting for a play written entirely in real-time. The rest of the company were a tad unsure to begin with, as were the writers, as we didn’t really understand how fifty minutes of four people sharing a small bathroom could be done: never mind interesting to watch. However, so far our previews have received great feedback, and our audiences have been laughing – which is always a plus when you’re putting on a comedy.

Does your location influence the content of your work?

Not particularly, except when we’re on the loo. We’ve even been keeping bathroom diaries for research…

Why the fringe?

We’d be crazy not to! Whilst we’ve worked together through other projects before Somebody’s Theatre, we still are a fledgling company. The Fringe is the ultimate place to get your play out there, get feedback, work on it throughout the entire month and keep developing your production until it is the best it can be. This festival is going to be a wonderful starting point for our little company.

What influenced you to make theatre?

We met through relationships developed within the Sheffield University Theatre Company (SUTCO) and the Royal Exchange. We were lucky to have taken part in two wonderful theatrical establishments, whose methods have had an influence on our desire to choose theatre as a career. We believe that the theatre gives us the chance to escape reality, not only can we find solice in the brief moments where we lose ourselves in another character or world, but we can also find comfort in the relationships that we forge whilst being part of this community. For many of us we started drama at a young age, and believe the benefits of theatre are immeasurable, especially for children who are still trying to make sense of the world around them; it allows us to learn empathy, sympathy, build confidence and discover for ourselves what it means to be a human being. We define ourselves through the theatre we make.

What will make the show stand out in August?

Physically? Just look out for the crazies running around the Royal Mile in their dressing gowns and towels, throwing toothbrushes at innocent passers-by.
Seriously? Our honesty. We haven’t come to the Fringe to speak up about a serious issue, or create a piece of theatre so contemporary it makes you squirm in your seat. All we want to do is allow you to witness those private moments which are usually blocked by a lock on the bathroom door: whether they make you laugh, cringe, or even shed a tear.

theSpace on The Mile (V39)
3rd-4th (Previews), 6th-18th (11:50-12:40), 20th-25th (18:05-18:55)

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