Saturday, 29 July 2017

Cultured Dramaturgy: Bind Theatre @ Edfringe 2017

written by member of the 'Young Court' and Bread and Roses playwright circle, Jack Stacey.

Circled in their new support group, six young people all brought together by one thing – a journey from friendship to revenge. Cult-ure explores the effects of bullying and the true meaning of safety and support.

Their need to belong to something greater than themselves only brings them weakness and isolation. They feel support and in turn answer to their new higher power, a young man with drastic views.

Aug 14th-Aug 19th, 11:10am (V) £8.00 (£6.00)
Aug 21st-Aug 26th, 11:10am (V) £8.00 (£6.00)

What was the inspiration for this performance?

I first got the idea for ‘Cult-ure’ when I was watching a documentary about Scientology. I found it fascinating that people could be so brainwashed. I decided to look into why people allow themselves to be manipulated.

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

Absolutely! In my opinion, theatre can challenge your preconceptions in ways reading a paper or article can’t. Theatre lets you delve into a world that you might never see and makes it real. As soon as you see a person, a real human being on stage, it becomes personal. It enables people to sympathise, and empathy is necessary when discussing issues of real importance.

How did you become interested in making performance?

We all train at The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts and we thought it would be a great time to experiment with the type of work we aspire to create when we graduate. It’s such a competitive industry, and if you want to get your idea’s/views out there, the easiest way (not that it’s easy) is to produce it yourself!

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

We’ve been devising/improvising our show since September and just generally playing with what kind of play we wanted to produce. After getting a rough idea, up and coming playwright, Jack Michael Stacey, took over and wrote the script. We’d love to work with Jack again, he’s incredibly talented!

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

We’re a new company so we haven’t exactly got ‘a usual’. As Artistic Director, I’d say the sort of work that excites me is work that has something to say. I don’t want a play to just be entertaining, I want it to challenge you and make you think. ‘Cult-ure’ definitely fits that criteria.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

It’s difficult because ‘Cult-ure’ isn’t a play with a singular political message, or one that highlights a specific social problem. It’s more of a play designed to make the audience feel at a loss as to what’s actually going on; the play should always be one step ahead of the audience. It’s meant to feel disconcerting and strange, with the reality of certain characters relationships being the only thing we can cling onto and call ‘our own’. 

And even those, we find, aren’t exactly as they seem. We go on the journey with Jesse, we’re not observers of it. It’s a play designed to shock, confuse and ultimately hold a mirror up to our own lives and the inevitability of our fate. Highlighting the things that do actually matter, in amongst the tonnes and tonnes of pure rubbish.

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

The writing does most of it for us. I suppose the pace the play moves at helps a lot because you don’t have time to reflect; the idea is to feel as overwhelmed as ‘Jesse’ does.

Written by Jack Stacey in association with Bind Theatre, 'Cult-ure' is a new play that examines the human need to be part of something bigger than yourself, asking whether you are ever truly in control of your own fate.

Directed by and starring 'Eastenders' actor Charlie Jones, 'Cult-ure' is an exciting and innovative new play that pushes boundaries, asks questions and demands answers.

How much would you give to get a new chance at life? What would you do just to start again? The cost is simple - "You can never go back. Not that I think You'd want to.”

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