Wednesday, 16 January 2013

In an Alien Landscape

Birds of Paradise emerged from the aftermath of the 1990 Glasgow City of Culture: founded by disabled activists, they have spent the past twenty-odd years increasing the presence of disabled performers in their productions and through outreach. One of these projects - a partnership with The Playwright's Studio - has evolved into their latest show In an Alien Landscape. Writer Danny Start was given support to write the script, and focussed on a drama that came from a real life.

"It's certainly where it jumps off from," says Start. Looking at the impact of a hemorrhage on a man's creativity, it explores the relationship between art and life.  "Albie is based upon a friend of mine who struggled with a super-abundance of creativity after experiencing a double brain hemorrhage.  And his experiences seemed to mirror my own - where my epilepsy, I believe, has given me a particularly  hyper-real/hyper-temporal-transient look on life, where timelines cross and weave so close to the surface of everyday reality. But I saw, in my friend, my own experience writ large and out of control - and this is what fascinates me."

In the play, Albie's obsession with writing after his hemorrhage is not merely an attempt to make sense of reality: he is compelled to write. Start acknowledges that he experiences this in his own life - "Writing is, for me, how I experience life.  My art is my life - and it's a difficult one" - but Albie's story plugs into the emotional chaos and changes in personality that often follow a sudden, serious illness.

Director Julie Ellen recognises that, typically for BoP, the play is not simply about an issue. "The resonances for me are around what is it to be true to yourself, to live as the person that you want to be," she says. "Sometimes our impulses are revealed through our behaviour but we still may not feel entitled to follow them; in this story the impulses are about living a move expressive, artistic life. That what it suggests to me.

In An Alien Landscapes TOUR DATES

Fri 1 Feb 
7:30pm £10/£8
01475 723038 

Thu 7 Feb
7:30pm | £11/£9
01334 475000 

Fri 8 Feb 
7:30pm | £10.50/£9/£7.50/£5
01786 466666 

Sat 9 Feb 
7.30pm | £11.50/£9.50/£6.50 
0131 665 2240

Mon 11 - Wed 13 Feb 
7pm | £9/£6 (Mon) £11/£7 (Tue/Wed)
0141 565 1000 | 

Fri 15 Feb
7:45pm | £9/£7
01236 732887

Tue 19 Feb
8pm | £9/£6
01688 302828 | 

Thu 21 Feb at 8pm
8pm | £9/£7/£3
01599 577296 | 

Tue 26 Feb
2pm | £3 

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