Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Invisible Dramaturgy: Kate Cook @ Edfringe


What inspired this production: did you begin with an idea or a script or an object?
The main thing to inspire my production was the Mass Observation Archive - a series of diaries written by real people since 1936. I came across one diary written in London during WWII which I became completely obsessed by. 

It was written by a wealthy widow who had two small children and absolutely loved the war. She found it thrilling and felt it gave her a sense of purpose. She desperately wanted to do some war work but was repeatedly thwarted in her attempt to do so. It is a really fascinating detailed and joyous account of how the war changed her life, largely for the better.

Why bring your work to Edinburgh?
There is nowhere like the Edinburgh Festival for the amazing atmosphere and openness of audiences - they seem ready to accept anything.

What can the audience expect to see and feel - or even think - of your production?
Audiences can expect to be entertained, moved, stimulated, astonished and a little bit educated.

The Dramaturgy Questions

How would you explain the relevance - or otherwise - of dramaturgy within your work?

Dramaturgs have an ability to stand outside the work and see it objectively. They seem to understand structure and story with ease. I was lucky enough to talk to one today about my play and he’s given me ideas on how to further develop the action.

What particular traditions and influences would you acknowledge on your work - have any particular artists, or genres inspired you and do you see yourself within their tradition?
Old black and white films have been a great contributor towards my play. Films of and about the WWII era plus the melodramatic films of Bette Davis. Also books written by or about women of the era.

Do you have a particular process of making that you could describe - where it begins, how you develop it, and whether there is any collaboration in the process?
I have created this play by acting out all the characters whilst filming myself on my iPad with my dog, Kenny, looking on in utter confusion.

What do you feel the role of the audience is, in terms of making the meaning of your work? 
The audience play quite a large part in my play in that they have to imagine the main character who is never seen. It is the audiences imaginations that make the play work.

Writer and performer, Kate Cook, a big hit on the comedy circuit, is a Funny Women semi-finalist, a regular Funny Women columnist and creator of comedy duo sensation Doodle and Bug. Her credits include Olivier Award winning West End show The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre), Quality Street (Finborough Theatre), 1936 (Arcola Theatre), A Man For All Seasons (York Theatre Royal) and Tom Geens multi award winning film You’re the Stranger Here (Film 4).

Director Helen Donnelly’s credits include, Pig Girl (Finborough Theatre), Scum Bags (Rich Mix), Corrections (Intermission Theatre), Sticks and Stones (REDfest at Old Red Lion), About A Goth (Black Box Belfast), Far Away (Crescent Arts Centre Belfast) Lead Astray (MAC Belfast), Forgotten Footfalls (Ulster Hall Group Space Belfast) and Sitting Up for Michael (Northern Irish Tour)

Venue: Just The Tonic at The Mash House 

The Attic Room, 37 Guthrie St, Edinburgh, EH1 1JG
Ticket Prices: Mon - Fri £6/£4 Sat - Sun £8/£6 OR PAY WHAT YOU WANT (buy a ticket to guarantee entry or pay what you want at the venue)
Dates: August 6th - 30th (Excluding Aug 18th)
Time: 14.20 (50 mins)
Box Office: 0131 226 0000

Interview: https://thejohnfleming.wordpress.com/2015/01/18/kate-cook-potential-lady-macbeth-with-a-pipe-and-an-invisible-wooden-leg/

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