Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Biting Dramaturgy: Junction 25 @ Tramway

The award winning company Junction 25 will be presenting their latest work at Tramway from Tuesday 21 to Thursday 23 June.

A Bit of Bite explores the role of young people in contemporary politics and the power and responsibility that comes with having a voice and using it.

Junction 25 is currently made up of 19 young people aged from 11 – 18, who take part in weekly workshops at Tramway.

This new work was devised from the young people’s own ideas and opinions, and directed by Jess Thorpe and Tashi Gore of Glas(s) Performance

Junction 25 - A Bit of Bite

Produced by Glas(s) Performance and Tramway

21 - 23 June 
Tramway 4,
25 Albert Dr, Glasgow G41 2PE

There will be a post-show discussion on 22 June

Eilidh Bryant and she is 16 and this is her response:

 What was the inspiration for this performance?
When coming up with a performance concept at Junction, everyone collaborates to make a spread of ideas and then we take inspiration from this. Personally, I was very interested in exploring the concept of young people’s voice within society. This was partially inspired by the recent increase in political awareness in young people following the independence referendum. however as there are a wide range of ages and opinions in junction it was a great opportunity to be able to hear people’s voices and on many matters and also very liberating for us as young people to have a space to share our voices when they are often dismissed or not taken seriously. 

How did you go about gathering the team for it?
Junction 25 has been running for over 10 years now and throughout that time many young people have had the chance to be a part of it. The core group consists of 20 or so young people aged 11-18. Junction is open to everyone, no matter who you are, where you come from or what previous experience you have had and there is no audition process involved. 

There is currently a long waiting list however we would recommend anyone who is interested to join it as it really is a unique experience. Because of the age range and tight-knit group we have a great spread of ideas, opinions and experiences which really help to make the shows relevant and interesting but also create a supportive space where the young people can feel safe. 

How did you become interested in making performance?
I joined Junction 25 when i was 13 and since then my interest and appreciation for theatre has grown vastly. Many of the young people in our group are interested in pursuing a career in theatre and some of us are already studying at university. 

It is a great space for this as it allows us not only to perform but also to really get a chance at devising and making our performance the way we want it, obviously with support from our directors Jess Thorpe and Tashi Gore. However, many of the group who are interested in other things still enjoy making work together and no matter what we want to do it provides us with great skills that can be applied in many fields and situations. 

Was your process typical of the way that you make a performance?
To make Junction 25 shows we always use a collaborative process with several stages designed for us to find our own journeys with the theme and ask the questions we have about it. Then our material gets put together within a whole structure to create an ensemble piece as a reflection on the theme as a whole. Each show always takes a different shape but the process we use to get there is something we all have an investment in.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?
As with all of the shows we make, we are really looking to create a powerful and thought provoking performance. We are not looking to preach our point of view to the audience or to change their opinions on anything however we do like to make people think and consider certain issues, perhaps in a different way that they might have before. 

Despite being a theatre group make up of young people, it is really important to us to be taken just as seriously as any other company and we enjoy pushing boundaries and doing things that the audience might not expect which helps to keep our shows relevant and exciting. 

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?
For our last performance 5.9 Million we used a totally different set up to anything we had ever done before where the audience walked around different rooms and experienced different interactive moments right up close and personal with the performers. After this experience we were really keen to maintain the idea of audience participation and the element of the unknown. 

For example with A Bit of Bite we knew we wanted to feature a live debate in which we get the audience’s opinions on certain issues suggested by them as this felt like a dynamic part of our process. This kind of live theatre is really interesting for us and also makes every performance a unique experience for the audience. 

Do you see your work within any particular tradition?
The style of the work of Junction 25 has developed over a number of years but definitely come out of traditions of devising from an autobiographical starting point.

Jess Thorpe, Co-Artistic Director Junction 25 said: “The last few years have been such an exciting and urgent time in Scottish politics and the voices and opinions of young people have really started to matter and be heard in a totally new way.  A Bit of Bite is our attempt to respond to this moment in history and to delve deeper into how young people feel about their role in the world of politics and about having a voice and knowing how to use it.”

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