Thursday, 18 June 2015

Consuming Dramaturgy: Jo Griffiths @ Edfringe 2015

Britain 2015 - we take, we buy and then we put it on credit… Sebastian and Penelope are in love, inseparable and living beyond their means. The new house, the latest car, dinner parties with friends… all to keep hold of one person? A physical and humorous drama about how we devour each other emotionally and literally without even knowing it and asks the question what will it take for us to stop?

Consumption at theSpace on the Mile. (venue 39)

7th-15th August 11.05am space 1. Duration 50 minutes.

17th -28th August 12.05pm space 2. Duration 50 minutes.

Tickets £9, concessions £5. No performance on Sundays.
'To be able to work with graduates, some of whom I taught, is a great feeling. To work with them once professionally trained is inspiring and a complete honour. I am thrilled to be coming to Edinburgh with them.’ Lorraine Cushnie, Director.

The observation from the writer, Jo Griffiths, is humorous but thought-provoking. The actors bring the humour of the piece to life under the guidance of director Lorraine Cushnie who manages to balance the physical and the text into a seamless ensemble performance.

Two42’s work is fresh, brand new and exciting. New writing and a world premier! Bringing movement and script together, the seven piece cast aims to create a dynamic, bold performance at Edinburgh fringe festival.

The Fringe

What inspired this production: did you begin with an idea or a script or an object?

Consumption has come from a script I wrote. I sent it to various comps and got some worthwhile feedback along the way. It has had many rewrites and now been cut from 90 minutes to 50 minutes to bring to Edinburgh. 

Why bring your work to Edinburgh?
A theatre company approached me some time ago and wanted to work with the script. I was speaking to Lorraine (my director) about it and we joked about putting it on ourselves. The joke planted the idea and Two42 Theatre Company was born.What can the audience expect to see and feel - or even think - of your production?I hope the audience find the piece funny. It is a humourous look at our mad world with an undertone of questioning what is normal in society. It's physical theatre and abstract. The Dramaturgy Questions

How would you explain the relevance - or otherwise - of dramaturgy within your work?
Explaining dramaturgy in the work is difficult. The shaping of the story into a form has been done by the director. Bringing a dramaturg into the process early on might have helped. The script isn't perfect and the influence of a dramaturg would have been useful in discussions at the early stage. The context of the play, the physical, social and political could have all been discussed and shaped before rehearsals possibly. Technically some contribution would always be useful too. I think when the director starts rehearsals they have ownership and rightfully take control.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?
Lorraine and I are huge fans of physical theatre, particularly DV8. We would no way compare ourselves to their brilliance but they have certainly influenced us. Samuel Beckett has had a massive influence on me. 

 The way he thinks about the individual and their place in the world continues to resonate and his writing is timeless, current and brilliant. I like Stephen Berkoff's style of writing, the uncompromising, bold, sometimes uncomfortable writing is great. I think audiences should be challenged and sometimes shocked, especially in theatre. 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?
The script started when I was work-shopping some ideas with a youth theatre group. They planted the seed and I created a few scenes to work from. When I handed the script to Lorraine it had had many rewrites and then a huge cut to fit in the time slot for our venue at Edinburgh. Tough but necessary. 

Lorraine has worked collaboratively with the cast. They have some great ideas and the piece is growing during each rehearsal. Lorraine works by layering a movement on top of the next until she gets the sequence of what she wants.

What do you feel the role of the audience is, in terms of making the meaning of your work? 
The audience are vital on every level. The best thing we can do is create an emotion. If the audience feels anything then we have served our purpose. It doesn't matter if it's a laugh, a tear, an annoyance or simply to entertain. Something is better than nothing.

Are there any questions that you feel I have missed out that would help me to understand how dramaturgy works for you?
Any other points - I think the function of the dramaturg is ever changing but the vital part of the work is early on in the translation and discussion of the script, idea or genre. If a dramaturg's function is about structuring the piece then early input could be very helpful.  

About Two42 Theatre
Two42 Theatre Company is two 42 year old women who are bold, inventive and trying to create the best possible theatre they can.

After almost 20 years of friendship, laughter and working with young people, Jo Griffiths and Lorraine Cushnie want to use their skills and experience to work with recent graduates. These young people need a platform; Edinburgh is the start of this.

Cast members: Grace Bussey, Georgia Cornick, Jason Homewood, Jessica Hughes, Zoe Matthews, Mark Wallington, Sam Whitfield.

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