Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Bare Skin on Briny Dramaturgy: Bellow Theatre @ Edfringe 2017

Bellow Theatre presents 
Bare Skin On Briny Waters

Pleasance Courtyard, Bunker 1
02 – 28 August

Emerging company Bellow Theatre premiere their new show Bare Skin On Briny Waters at Edinburgh Festival, written by Tabitha Mortiboy (OFFIE award nominee) and Maureen Lennon.

The plays tells the story of Annie and Sophie, two young women whose life has led them to the edge. 

Annie finds herself on a clifftop. She says she’s fine but she can’t quite get her story straight. Sat by her side Sophie covers the bruises on her neck. It’s amazing what you get used to, isn’t it?  It’s a story about survival, escape and two women steadily blown on an unexpected course.

What was the inspiration for this performance?

The inspiration for Bare Skin On Briny Waters was twofold, firstly it was inspired by our discussion of the role of female voices in storytelling, asking whether it had traditionally been an empowering form, and whether there was a way to re-tell old stories to discover the female voices hidden with the tale. 

Secondly it was inspired by our own experiences of growing up as young women in Hull, and the difficulties that led to in terms of being able to articulate your own life path, and the routes that were open or closed to us and our contemporaries.

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

Yes. If anything it’s the best place, because it asks you to conceptually and critically engage through empathy. It makes it possible to understand a different experience in the world and recognise parts of it as your own, and it encourages us to listen.

How did you become interested in making performance?

I went to see a lot of it when I was younger. I’ve always loved stories, words, writing, anything than can take you to a different world, and immerse you in an experience seems magic to me.

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

It’s been a long approach! We first started trying aspects of the show out in 2014, so it’s taken a lot of different paths to get here but it’s all the more special for it. We mix traditional storytelling aspects, with a more contemporary tone and try always to approach our whole aesthetic from a folky perspective.

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

Yes, although it’s darker than some. We usually tend to use storytelling in our shows, alongside live folk music, and a female perspective and all those elements are there. The last few shows we’ve done have had quite a family friendly feel though, and been designed for festivals whilst this touches on some more serious subject matter. We’re also getting the chance to work with a
lighting designer and set designer on this show which is a new experience for us, so will add an extra layer to the work.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

We hope they’ll experience a story which is at once extremely personal and universal. I think we can all recognise ourselves in Sophie and Annie (our two characters). We hope they’ll find the experience moving, surprising, and empowering, that they’ll feel lost in the tale and that within that narrative they’ll rediscover the world with new eyes.

The whole show is underscored with live folk music and asks some really important questions about young women’s place in the world. It’s about female anger, love, and the struggle for independence. It’s produced by an all-female cast and company, and investigates how a generation promised everything can forge its own path.

Bellow Theatre are a Hull based company rooted in new writing and brave and stirring storytelling. They're a supported artist of Hull Truck Theatre and New Diorama Theatre. They’re incredibly excited to take their work to the festival in 2017, Hull’s City of Culture year.

Venue: Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh EH8 9TJ
Time: 13:00    Running Time: 1 hour
Dates: 02 – 28 August. Previews: 02, 03 & 04 August. No show Tues 15 August.
Tickets: Previews £6; August £11 (£10) 5-8, 11-13, 18-20, 25-27, £10 (£8.50) 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, £8.50 (£7.50) 14, 21-22, 28.
Booking: 556 6550 or Pleasance festival box offices.

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