Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Dramaturgy and Robin Hood: Shôn Dale-Jones @ Edfringe 2017

A Hoipolloi & Royal Court Theatre co-production in association with Theatre Royal Plymouth

Hugh Hughes presents Shôn Dale-Jones in
Celebrating 20 years at the Fringe, the Fringe First winning creator of The Duke - which cleverly combined theatre and fundraising - returns with a new show asking if it’s ever right to do the wrong thing? 

Pleasance Dome, 2 – 27 Aug 2017 (not 15 & 22), 16.00 (17.00)

Following the success of 2016 Fringe First award winning The Duke, Hoipolloi’s Shôn Dale-Jones returns to Edinburgh with the second in a series of solo shows as he celebrates the 20th anniversary of his Edinburgh Festival Fringe debut. 

ME & ROBIN HOOD examines the inequality that exists in society through Shôn’s relationship with his best fictional friend (and truly legendary hero), the Prince of Thieves himself.  

Shôn Dale-Jones first encountered Robin Hood as a seven-year-old boy in November 1975 through the BBC mini-series The Legend of Robin Hood. Forty years on, Shôn and Robin look again at a modern world that continues to separate the rich from the poor, leaving only extreme options open to those who want to level the playing field. Through the eyes of the now adult Shôn and his ageless childhood friend, ME & ROBIN HOOD asks us to reflect on the opportunities life has offered us, to question what society truly values and encourage us to challenge and change the story of money.

ME & ROBIN HOOD by Shôn Dale-Jones
A Hoipolloi & Royal Court Productions co-production

What was the inspiration for this performance?

Brexit and our realisation how huge the gap is between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ is.
Wanting to support Street Child United which is an awesome charity

Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas? 

Yes. We go to the theatre to see each other. The audience rehearse being together while the show takes place. 

How did you become interested in making performance?

After being forced on stage aged 15 I couldn’t think of a better way to live

Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?

This show has been a long constant process of writing because I want it to be very alive and ‘in the moment’. I’ll be constantly tinkering while it’s on stage 

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

We’ve made a shift at Hoipolloi since Autumn 2015. Our work is currently focused entirely on world events and a desire to connect with charities working to support refugees and street children

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

A rise in empathy for the less fortunate. A desire to do something about inequality and poverty. 

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

The whole show is geared towards shaping this audience experience. It’s why the show exists. 

As with The Duke, which captured the public’s imagination with a combination of theatre and fundraising, ME & ROBIN HOOD will employ a unique ticketing system that encourages audiences to donate to charity. This year, audiences will buy a ticket for £5 and be asked to bring cash to the show. ME & ROBIN HOOD is supporting Street Child United World Cup 2018, a charity which uses the power of sport to change the way the world sees and treats street connected children, raising visibility and giving a platform for their voices to be heard and for their lives to be changed.  

Last year, Hoipolloi collected over £36,500 for the Save the Children Child Refugee Fund from audience donations via their Edinburgh show The Duke, which has toured extensively and will return to the Fringe this year. 

Commenting on the project Shôn says: ME & ROBIN HOOD is my response to how the growing gap between the rich and the poor is effecting the way the world is being shaped. It’s my attempt to encourage us to imagine the lives of those living without the opportunities ‘we’ have – ‘we’, the liberal-minded, well-educated theatre-going public. The show playfully challenges our relationship with the banks and flirts with romantic idea of becoming a radical revolutionary that can change the world. It gives audiences the chance to offer an opportunity to a child living on the streets to go to Street Child United’s 2018 World Cup and start to change their life.”  
Shôn Dale-Jones is the man behind Edinburgh’s favourite Welsh character Hugh Hughes and the winner of two Fringe Firsts, for Story of A Rabbit (2007) & for The Duke (2016).  Hoipolloi was established in 1993 by Shôn Dale-Jones and Stefanie Mueller to make work that is funny, imaginative and touching, connecting with audiences all over the world on various platforms. The company’s work reaches out beyond the stage, and engages audiences directly through a mixture of live performance and online digital content. Based in Cambridge, Hoipolloi has produced over 20 new theatre shows, including all of Shôn Dale-Jones’ alter-ego Hugh Hughes’ award-winning work, a film (HOW DID I GET HERE) and a range of online content. 

Hamish Pirie, Associate Director of the Royal Court Theatre says: “Shôn is talking the talk but also walking the walk. He gives his ticket money to the causes looked at in his shows. He takes his work home with him. Shôn is a pure version of the writer as literal story teller. Asking questions of his own purpose while telling that yarn. It felt important to represent his craft on our stage.”
Alongside ME & ROBIN HOOD, The Duke will also be performed 5th – 27th (not 15th & 22nd) Aug at Pleasance Courtyard. The Duke received The Scotsman’s Fringe First Award in Edinburgh in 2016 and was produced in aid of the Save the Children’s Child Refugee Crisis Appeal. This year, audiences will be asked to buy a ticket for £5 and bring cash to the show to support Save the Children’s Rescue at Sea Appeal, supporting refugees as they face dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean.
As well as the two solo shows, Hoipolloi and PBJ Management will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Hoipolloi at the Fringe with Feast of the Fest. Taking place across one day (Tuesday 22nd August) Shôn and friends will take over the Roundabout at Paines Plough’s venue at Summerhall to create an epic fundraising event to celebrate generosity and the power of art. The day will feature performers and companies from across the festival with the full line up to be announced in July/August. Entrance is free with audience donations going to Save The Children’s Rescue at Sea Appeal. 

Running Time: 60 minutes | Suitable for ages 12 years plus
Company Information
Written and performed by Shôn Dale-Jones

Queen Dome, Pleasance Dome (Venue 23) Edinburgh University, 1 Bristo Square, Edinburgh EH8 9AL
2 - 27 Aug (not 15, 22), 4pm - 5pm 
Tickets £5 | 0131 556 1513

Tour Dates

4–16 Sept The Royal Court Theatre, London 
Tickets £10 | 020 7565 5000

22 – 23 Sept Det Andreteatret, Oslo        
26 Sept – 7 Oct Theatre Royal Plymouth         
18 Oct Cambridge Junction
2 – 4 Nov Liverpool Everyman

Supported by the Royal Court Theatre, PBJ Management, Theatre Royal Plymouth and Street Child World Cup

Notes to editors 
Street Child United uses the power of sports to change the way the world negatively sees and treats street-connected children, so they can be protected, respected and supported to build a live away from the streets. Ahead of the world’s biggest sporting competitions, Street Child United organise international sports events for street-connected children, raising their visibility and giving them a platform for their voices to be heard. Their flagship initiative is the Street Child World Cup, which kicks-off ahead of each FIFA World Cup. The next Street Child World Cup will take place in Moscow 2018. 
The Royal Court Theatre is the writers’ theatre. 

It is the leading force in world theatre for energetically cultivating writers - undiscovered, emerging and established. Through the writers, the Royal Court is at the forefront of creating restless, alert, provocative theatre about now. We open our doors to the unheard voices and free thinkers that, through their writing, change our way of seeing. Over 120,000 people visit the Royal Court in Sloane Square, London, each year and many thousands more see our work elsewhere through transfers to the West End and New York, UK and international tours, digital platforms, our residencies across London, and our site-specific work. Through all our work we strive to inspire audiences and influence future writers with radical thinking and provocative discussion.
The Royal Court’s extensive development activity encompasses a diverse range of writers and artists and includes an ongoing programme of writers’ attachments, readings, workshops and playwriting groups. 

Twenty years of the International Department’s pioneering work around the world means the Royal Court has relationships with writers on every continent. Within the past sixty years, John Osborne, Samuel Beckett, Arnold Wesker, Ann Jellicoe, Howard Brenton, David Hare have started their careers at the Court. 

Many others including Caryl Churchill, Athol Fugard, Mark Ravenhill, Simon Stephens, debbie tucker green, Sarah Kane; and, more recently, Lucy Kirkwood, Nick Payne, Penelope Skinner and Alistair McDowall, have followed.The Royal Court has produced many iconic plays from Laura Wade’s Posh to Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem and Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen.Royal Court plays from every decade are now performed on stage and taught in classrooms and universities across the globe. It is because of this commitment to the writer that we believe there is no more important theatre in the world than the Royal Court.

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