Tuesday, 13 June 2017

The Soft Dramaturgy: Chris Woodley @ Edfringe 2017

Today’s lesson is about love, heartbreak and The Little Mermaid.
Chris Woodley’s autobiographical solo show The Soft Subject (A Love Story) invites us back into the classroom to learn about loss, survival, and Brazil nuts! 

In this highly-energetic, pop-fuelled, heart-on-the-sleeve account, Woodley playfully explores the peaks and troughs of wanting it all in the modern world. He also asks some challenging questions about how our culture shapes our assumptions about love. 

This is a play about family, failure, mental health, and the fact that not all lessons can be learnt in school...

Assembly Hall, The Baillie Room, Mound Place, EH1 2LU 
 3rd-28thAugust 16:25 

What was the inspiration for this performance?

Love. Heartbreak. The Little Mermaid. Suicidal Thoughts. All the fun things.

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

Without a doubt. Getting to experience something live can never beat something recorded. I love good argument at the interval. Theatre is in touching distance and it makes it more exciting than anything else.

How did you become interested in making

I used to be interested in dance when I was little. I did Latin, Ballroom, Disco. That then turned into me watching my sister perform in the end of primary school show, it looked like more fun and I’ve never looked back. I’m often cast in the camp comedy or really angry public sector worker.

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

Music on. 90’s pop. Laptop open. I always write about things I think are really important to me. LGBT rights. Mental health. Disney icons.

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

No. This is an autobiographical solo show. I’m used to writing naturalistic dialogue or duologues and this is the most experimental my writing has been and I’m bloody terrified by that. There is spoken word, stand up, monologue, dance, mime and a tiny bit of audience participation. I’m also the only actor in my show, usually someone else is doing the words and pulling the faces.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

I hope the audience leave feeling like they learnt something new about what it is to love someone and lose someone. I hope they have all the pop songs still buzzing around their head well on into the evening. For me the test of a good show is that you wake up the next day and you are still thinking about it, so maybe that’s what I want them to experience. 

Following a sold-out London run of its first full-length play Next Lesson in October 2015, Hyphen Theatre Company is excited to be taking its Fringe debut The Soft Subject (A Love Story) to Edinburgh in the summer of 2017. 

The Soft Subject (A Love Story) is written and performed by Chris Woodley, developed with multi-award-winning theatre maker Agnes Wild, directed by Amy Liptrott, and produced by Hyphen Theatre Company. 

The show has been developed in London and Iceland with support from Shoreditch Town Hall, Greenwich Theatre and Arts Depot, and in connection with mental health charity MQ for which Chris Woodley is an Ambassador.

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