Thursday, 6 July 2017

Dramaturgy at the Oche: Jocky Wilson Said @ Edfringe 2017

Jocky Wilson Said

daily at 3.45pm from 2-24 August at Gilded Balloon’s new venue The Rose Street Theatre (Venue 76).

Transfer from Oran Mor’s acclaimed ‘A Play, A Pie and a Pint’ programme. Written by BAFTA-winning Jane Livingstone, directed by Tony Cownie and starring Outlander star and Critics’ Award for Theatre in Scotland Best Actor winner Grant O’Rourke – this is the reflective, allegorical story of Scottish sporting legend Jocky Wilson. FRINGE DEBUT.

Glasgow: “O’Rourke’s portrayal is superb… Livingstone and Cairney's pithy yet tender take on the Scots legend is a real pleasure to spend time with: funny, couthy, and – yes – full of soul” ★★★★ Lorna Irvine, 

Jonathan Cairney and Jane Livingstone

What was the inspiration for this performance?

As Fifers, we are long time admirers of Jocky Wilson and wanted with this performance to challenge common perceptions about his character and story. We wanted in particular to show how he overcame many significant challenges and disadvantage to become a double world champion.
Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas? 

Performance is one of the best spaces for public discussion of ideas because it is the closest to seeing and experiencing the characters in their true skin. Bringing Jocky to life is crucial to understand his environment, his thought processes and his ultimate relationship with the society  he interacted with.  

How did you become interested in making performance?

As a writing partnership we come from different disciplines. Jane is a professional writer who has come to believe that the live stage environment is the most dynamic and immediate way of sharing the written word. Jonathan is a singer son writers and comes more from a performance and audience engagement point of view. 
Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?

Jocky Wilson Said  is a one man show with the actor taking on a range of characters but staying within the pcerptions of the main character. It also focuses on one particular episode in his early carrier but uses this as a prism through which to give and account of his whole life and mindset.
Does the show fit with your usual productions?

Doing a one-man show is a new experience for us and we have found it both exciting and educational. We have learned that with the right actor we can condense all the ideas and emotions we wanted to express  into one powerful performance. So far we have always used 3 or more actors.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

We were very keen to tell the story in a way that was both funny and touching. Many are aware  of the way Wilson’s life ended in unfortunate circumstances but so far audiences have come away with a very balanced sense of compassion and warmth for the character yet also a wider understanding of how his life and successful career sometimes clashed with his unique personality and outlook, with the latter ultimately prevailing.

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

We have included several pre-recorded elements including commentary and sound/light effects to enhance the audience sense of being in the moment and the performer enters from the audience to help the sense of Jocky being from the people. 

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