Thursday, 16 July 2015

Broken Dramaturgy: Trisha Duffy @ Edfringe 2015


Writer: Trisha Duffy Director: Margaret Connell

Space on the Mile at Radisson Blu (Space 1) | 24th – 29th August | 7:20pm (50mins)

The award winning play Broken Biscuits (Best Actress in 2014 Studio Theatre Awards & Best New Play – Made Up Liverpool) arrives at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for one week only following two sold out and critically acclaimed runs at Liverpool’s leading fringe venue The Lantern Theatre.

“The real power of Broken Biscuits is Duffy’s script, which is simultaneously heart breaking and hilarious” – Liverpool Noise

Broken Biscuits is a poignant and timely piece of theatre detailing the devastating effects of war on the families who are left behind. Trisha Duffy’s debut play mixes heartbreak and humour in a play that raises vital questions about the support given to our troops and their family.

The Fringe

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

Trisha Duffy: Originally it was a thirty minute script for TV. Margaret Connell the Artistic Director at The Lantern Theatre Liverpool read it and asked me to re-write the script for the Theatre which I did. The story was based around being given the word WAR and asked to write a short 500 word piece on it. 

I took a different approach than most in my group and told the story of the effects of war on a mother whose son was in the army and then adapted it further. Originally it was called 18 Cherry Street which I then changed to Broken Biscuits which I think suits it better. 

Why bring your work to the Edinburgh Fringe?
It seemed a natural progression from the previous shows in Liverpool. The Edinburgh Festival has such calibre and prestige to be part of it felt right for this piece. It’s an brilliant opportunity to get your work seen and out to the masses along with being an amazing journey and experience for all involved. 

What can the audience expect to see and feel - or even think - of your production?
They can definitely expect to feel an array of emotions, laughter, tears, concern, worry, sadness they are all in the piece, sometimes two at a time, you can be laughing and crying all at once. What they think of this piece is essentially up to them. 

The Dramaturgy Questions
How would you explain the relevance - or otherwise - of dramaturgy within your work?
The piece is totally relevant to current times. I found there is not as much help out there for families of the fallen or the soldiers who have been privy to the horrendous effects of War as I would of thought needed. 

There are some amazing charity based groups such as Bob Paxman’s Talking to Minds Charity which was set in 2008 to deal with the PTSD that a lot of veterans are suffering with in an alternative but effective way other than drugs. Maggie’s line in Broken Biscuits about her son Paul dealing with his best friend James being hit by a bullet thus saving his life is very poignant and totally portrays her son as having PTSD which is hurting her to the point of wishing he had been killed to remove his pain, also had Rita had more access to charities like this maybe things would be different…..Not all casualties end on the battlefield.

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?
Jimmy McGovern and Danny Brocklehurst inspire me I have such respect for their work and style of writing. The dialogue is always so fitting, raw and totally believable, along with the storylines of their pieces very thought provoking and always very current. If I was ever to be classed as a writer in the same sentence as either one would be magical.

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 tend to write from the heart and weirdly with an Irish accent in my head even though I’m from Liverpool with a scouse accent. This is my debut play so I am still finding my feet so to speak and what methods work better for me. At present I don’t have a particular process just plug in the computer and write but I did have lengthy conversations with a veteran friend of mine whose words not only touched me but made me realise how proud these men and women are to be protecting our country and also how vulnerable they can be once they stop.

What do you feel the role of the audience is, in terms of making the meaning of your work?
To imagine how they would feel if they were Maggie or Rita.

“We never ask for anything in this life and I know my friends and friends of friends would never want any accolade or reward… you know who the real heroes are (beside the fallen)… it’s the mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, brothers, sisters and loved ones who are left behind and have to continue in life… it is heart wrenching for them.” - serving soldier in Afghanistan

Two mother’s of soldiers, life-long friends, torn apart by a devastating tragedy. Rita (Glaswegian actress Leanne Martin) and Maggie’s (Jane Hogarth) sons were best friends, joined up together, trained together, went to war together. But when Rita’s son James is killed in Afghanistan saving the life of his brother-in-arms grief tears the two mother’s 20year friendship apart, can this relationship survive and will school girl Molly (Louise Garcia) really understand the turmoil the two friends find themselves in?

“Get ready for an emotional ride, one of the theatrical surprises of this year” - Made Up Liverpool

Space on the Mile at The Radisson Blu (Space 1) – Venue 39

7:20pm (55mins)
24th – 29th August

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