Thursday, 16 July 2015

Cleansing and Loving Dramaturgy: No Colours @ Edfringe 2015


by Sarah Kane


by Sarah Kane

In a torture institution of the heart, seven lovers are faced with the impossible: love is indestructible and to stay in love, they must survive anything.

Sarah Kane's third play offers a brutal and passionate exposing of the violence of love and lovers' catastrophe, while challenging form and what might be represented on stage. Fear No Colours faces this challenge head on and are delighted to bring you our bold and experiential take on Kane's powerful text.

Directed by Julia Midtgard
Movement by Sophie Lamont and Sam Skoog.
Performed by Erfan Shojanoori, Siofra Dromgoole, Hannah Torbitt, 
Raymond Wilson, Lourenço De Almeida, Callum Partridge and Sam Skoog.

Edinburgh Fringe 5th-31st August 2015
Neues Schauspiel Leipzig 12th-14th June 2015

How would you explain the relevance - or otherwise - of
dramaturgy within your work?
Julia Midtgard: In the process of developing the concept for both plays, dramaturgical work has played a very large part, which is also continued throughout the rehearsal process. A lot of textual research is undertaken, when creating a concept this takes about half the working time. 

I purposefully ask myself and the text the most difficult questions I
can think of in terms of structure, representation, and considering what the material can do on stage, and how this might connect to the off-stage reality it exists in. 

When doing modern classics like Cleansed and Phaedra's Love,
current issues and events does affect and shape the work, alongside what was current when the plays were written, and how these realities connect. In the rehearsal process, I go home every day and ask myself the difficult questions again, to see if my answers have changed, or if specific points are being neglected, sacrificed or just plain forgotten in the practical work.

Coming from a theatre tradition where dramaturgy and the dramaturg weights quite heavily (Scandinavian theatre), this is to me a very natural part of the process. Working without a dramaturg in the team is therefore slightly terrifying, and I try to be my own dramaturg to feel more secure in what I am doing. How successful that attempt is remains to be seen, when the work is live.

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?
The work is negotiated between classic social/psychological realism and a more representational and metaphorical aesthetic, where realistic images and emotions are challenged. A realistic representation of Cleansed and Phaedra's Love is not only physically impossible, but attempting it could also easily undermine the potential of the text, or spoon-feed our own interpretations to the audience without allowing them to freely interpret and imagine the material within their own bodily and emotional reference. I believe we need to be bold enough, and trust the material enough, to allow our audiences the space and freedom to use their imagination, and not expect them to happily remain passive in their seats.

Howard Barker's writings on the Theatre of Catastrophe have been absolutely crucial in developing my methodology, also within directing. My aim is to create work to respond to - and find its place within - the Catastrophic Theatre.

Much of my own dramaturgy work is inspired by contemporary Norwegian dramaturgs Per Ananiassen and Kristian Seltun. I would not be as presumptuous as to see myself currently within their tradition as my skill needs honed for much longer until I can approach this level, but certainly as influences.

News. Another rape. Child murdered. War somewhere. Few thousand jobs gone. But none of this matters 'cause it's a royal birthday.

When queen Phaedra falls madly in love with her stepson Hippolytus, catastrophe is inevitable. The prince has no interest in anyone's affections, and his refusal soon throws the nation's morals into irreparable turmoil.

Sarah Kane's second offering is a darkly humourous adaptation of the classic tragedy of Phaedra and Hippolytus, satirising the 'tell don't show' tradition of Greek drama. Through movement and video we intend to present this modern classic as a strongly visceral and experiential performance.

Directed by Julia Midtgard
Movement by Sam Skoog
Video design by Erfan Shojanoori
Performed by Callum Partridge, Hannah Torbitt, Sam Skoog, Siofra Dromgoole, Erfan Shojanoori, Lourenço De Almeida, Raymond Wilson, Aea Varfis-van Warmelo and Anna-Kathrin Lindner.

Edinburgh Fringe 5th-31st

August 2015

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