Wednesday, 22 July 2015

85s Dramaturgy: Split Second @ Edfringe 2015

Split Second Productions to bring two original shows to the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe

New and up and coming theatre company, Split Second Productions are bringing two original pieces that will play in rep at theSpace @ Surgeons Hall in the Grand Theatre at this years Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The two pieces are set a century apart and take a look at the social and political issues in 1985 and a post-apocalyptic world in 2085.

1985 is a piece designed to bring audiences back in time through music and movement. The piece was brought to life during a series of workshops and improvisations and was inspired by reflections from the cast’s personal family backgrounds and national and international headlines from that year. 

What inspired this production: did you begin with an idea or a script or an object? 
We originally discussed as a company different themes that we wanted to look at within our pieces and we managed to agree upon the basic premise of time. This then took its shape through workshop as we agreed to look specifically at one year each per piece. Then as the casts began to make discoveries about their interests, the years were decided on as being 1985 – a time of civil unrest in Britain and massive global change and 2085 – a contemplative look ahead to the roads that humanity could follow. 

How did the company come into being? 
As training actors, we are constantly urged towards making our own work in an unforgiving industry. Therefore, we decided to make a start to this as early as possible. The company is run entirely by training actors at a leading UK drama school. It was created to give opportunities for actors to try new things and to show these ideas to audiences willing to observe with an open mind. 

What can the audience expect to see and feel - or even think - of your production?

It would be hard to define what we expect the audience reaction to be, because you really never know with theatre. I suppose what we are hoping for is a season of shows that entertain and affect the audience, allowing them to relive memories of a time gone by, or provoking them to consider their part in humanity as it moves forward into a more futuristic age. The main thing they will see in a literal sense is a variety of theatrical genres within two productions, including physical theatre and actor-musicianship to name but a few.

How would you explain the relevance - or otherwise - of dramaturgy within your work? 
Due to the devised nature of our work, dramaturgy has been a collaborative challenge for the whole ensemble to face. This has led to the creation of two shows with clarity and purpose to each member of the company and hopefully, in turn, the audience. 

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? 
As training actors, we are constantly learning of new techniques and practitioners that we admire. This is an opportunity for us to develop these ideas in a way befitted to each production. Many of the physical aspects of our work, for example, are inspired by the practices of Frantic Assembly. 

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? 
With these pieces of theatre, we began by exploring our ideas from the most basic of premises within a workshop structure. This led to a finalised outline of the themes of our pieces. From this, the company broke off into two casts to work on the respective productions. Further workshops continued as we discovered the stories we were intending to tell and improvised around these ideas. Upon discovering our own stories, we finalised these in the form of a script written by the company with the guidance of a writing team within each cast. The whole process was totally collaborative in nature and we are hoping that the pieces are representative of this. 

What do you feel the role of the audience is, in terms of making the meaning of your work? 
At the end of the day, without an audience, theatre is nothing. We are hoping that these two pieces can affect our audience both in the retrospective sense, looking back at the year of 1985 and in a forward-looking sense towards the possibilities of a post-apocalyptic 2085. The Edinburgh audiences will provide the last piece of the puzzle as our shows take form.

1985 is set around a revolutionary camp where anyone who wants to help make a change can come along and make a difference. The camp brings all walks of human life together, to make an inspiring story of the struggles and triumphs of the people of Britain in the year that is 1985. This play is written by Ben Dixon and Ross White with direction from Adam Boardman.

2085 takes place on the site of an inhabited scrapheap in post-apocalyptic England. A cohort of unlikely survivors have gathered together to grasp at a possibility of community once again. It is immediately clear that quality of life has been drastically reduced; sleeping bags, log fires, tinned cans and torches scatter the camp floor. The group reside at the foot of a large mountain of rubble, comprised of a vast assortment of objects and materials that merge to create a picture of a lost society. Their music, their song, their dance, is their own special way of saying: We are not done yet. This play is written by Isobelle Ford and Katherine Ferguson with direction from Tom Berkeley.

Split Second Productions was founded in 2014 by a group of young actors who are training at one of the leading drama schools in the UK and have also worked with companies such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Exchange, Lyric Hammersmith and National Youth Theatre.

The Waste of Time season is their first venture as a company.

The full cast for both shows include Jessica Alade, Ocean Barrington-Cook, Tom Berkeley, Adam Boardman, Cory Chambers, William Eley, Katherine Ferguson, Lauren Fitzpatrick, Isobelle Ford, Emily Hardy, Maddie Hatt, Lateshia Howell, Phoebe Hyder, Ingvild Lakou, Jay William Parsons, Natasha Ravenscroft, Natalia Titcomb, Ross White and Laura Woods.

Like us on Facebook: Split Second Productions 


theSpace @ Surgeons Hall, Grand Theatre 
24th, 26th & 28th August 2015
Director: Adam Boardman
Musical Director: Alex Coppola
Movement Director: Phoebe Hyder
Cast: Adam Boardman, William Eley, Lauren Fitzpatrick, Emily Hardy, Maddie Hatt, Phoebe Hyder, Ingvild Lakou, Jay William Parsons, Natasha Ravenscroft, Ross White and Laura Woods.
Writer: Ross White & Ben Dixon


theSpace @ Surgeons Hall, Grand Theatre
Dates: 25th, 27th & 29th August 2015
Director: Tom Berkeley
Cast: Jessica Alade, Ocean Barrington-Cook, Tom Berkeley, Cory Chambers, Katherine Ferguson, Isobelle Ford, Lateshia Howell and Natalia Titcomb. 
Writer: Isobelle Ford & Katherine Ferguson 
Graphic designer for 1985 & 2085: Josh Wichard 

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