Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Dramaturgy Punch: Lucy Burke @ Edfringe 2017

Returning after a sellout Edinburgh Fringe 2016, Some Riot Theatre presents Glitter Punch at Assembly, George Square studios 3rd-28th (not 14th) August. 

Venue:  Assembly George Square Studio Four EH8 9JZ
Time:  13.15  Running Time 60 mins
Dates: 03-28 August. Previews 3-4 August. No show Mon 14 August.
Tickets: Previews £8  5-6, 9-10, 15-17, 21-24, 28 August (£10); 7-8, 11-13, 18-20, 25-27 August (£12)

”I can feel it right in the gut like someones punched me too hard but a nice punch like, a glittery punch. And all at once its like everything in the world makes sense…”

When Molly collides with mysterious John, she sees it as her chance to escape her chaotic existence in working class Salford, but as their feelings develop and we become caught in the seemingly perpetual limbo between adolescence and adulthood, issues of consent and grooming begin to emerge.

What was the inspiration for this performance?
I had this realisation that as a writer I'm really lucky because I have this platform to write about subject matters that mean a lot to me and that I think need wider attention. My last piece was a comedy, lots of fun and a bit silly, but this year I wanted to actually use this platform to discuss an issue which I think society needs to take a bit more notice of; the piece deals with laws surrounding consent and grooming which right now I feel aren't effective enough in protecting young people.

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

Hell yes. In my opinion live theatre and performance has the power to connect with an audience in a way that other mediums of entertainment just can't; Theatre is visceral and real and happens right in front of you. There's no escaping it for the hour or two that it's on, you can't get distracted and check your phone or pop out to make a brew, you're in the moment with the characters discovering their stories right there and then and forming new ideas of your own.

How did you become interested in making performance?

I went to the theatre a lot as a kid and always had the goal to be involved in theatre one way or another. I trained as an actor which was great but I didn't like not getting to have a say in what the stuff I was appearing in was about, I just had to read someone else's words from a script that I might not necessarily have liked or agreed with. So I moved into writing and producing and that's fun because I get to decide exactly what issues we explore and how we do it! Basically I'm a control freak and I like being in charge.

Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?
No we just get together with our scripts and try our best to make a show that hopefully people will like. It's always handy if there's a kettle in the rehearsal room too. There's two cast members plus our director Peter and I also attend rehearsals because it's fun and I have nothing else to do. But really it's important that all four of us are in the room together as much as possible because I think the best theatre is made when people are comfortable together, have solid relationships and are able to play and explore and just have a laugh with one another.

Does the show fit with your usual productions?
Yes and no. This is our second piece as a company so we're really excited to already be performing at Assembly. With both the pieces I've written I started by writing reams of monologues to help me get to know the characters and then I develop the rest of the story from there. Similarly both of the pieces I've written deal with romantic relationships. But like I mentioned before, although Glitter Punch has moments of comedy, it's not pinned as a comedy play where our last piece was. Glitter Punch explores the darker, more forbidden side of sexual and romantic relationships and explores the themes of grooming and consent. I'm making a point with Glitter Punch and although there's a certain amount of ambiguity towards the end of the play so that the audience can make up their own minds, I actually have pretty strong opinions on what needs to happen and what I think needs to happen is that certain laws need to be re evaluated to up the protection of children as they transition into young adults.   

What do you hope that the audience will experience?
Glitter Punch explores a no frills, coming of age relationship between two characters Molly and John. In order for the play's denouement to work, what I need from the audience is for them to really buy into this relationship and to be rooting for it in a sense. We've tried to make it as raw and real as possible to make this happen. I don't want my audience sitting too comfortably though so towards the end of the play I've thrown in a bit of a surprise. I won't tell you what it is, but hopefully it will ruffle a few feathers and get everyone thinking! 

Although the age of consent in the UK is 16, the law states that a sexual relationship between someone who is in a position of trust and a person to whom that trust extends, including those young people between the ages of 16 - 18, is illegal. Glitter Punch forces us to look at and reevaluate the laws on the age of consent and consider at what age we really reach adulthood. These issues are not only deeply resonant to the company but are now more than ever becoming an exponentially important issue in contemporary society.

Some Riot Theatre is an exciting, emerging theatre company specialising in new writing and focusing on providing employment for graduate actors. After its critically acclaimed run at The Kings Head Theatre, Glitter Punch was also performed to a sellout crowd at The Bunker Theatre, London and beat thousands of applicants, winning the opportunity to be read by two time Olivier winner Simon Stephens as a part of the Pint Sized Plays Initiative for new writing. It was also shortlisted for the Bolton Octagon Top Five season. With notoriety growing, Some Riot Theatre have been tipped for big things and are definitely one to watch.

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