Friday, 4 August 2017

Delorean Dramaturgy: JON IVAY @ Edfringe 2017

Freedom Picture Company
The story of the car from the Back to the Future movies
The Assembly Ballroom, Edinburgh, 3 – 27 August 2017

Jon Ivay’s brand new stage play DeLorean telling the incredible true story of the man behind the iconic car from the Back to the Future films will have a three-week run at The Assembly Ballroom, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, from 3 – 27 August 2017.

DeLorean tells the back story of the car made famous by the films, when one man’s dream of an ethical sports car turned into one of the most controversial and embarrassing moments in British government funding history. 

In the summer of 1978, John DeLorean received an astonishing £54 million from the British government to build a car manufacturing plant in Northern Ireland. Four years later and a further £30 million, it was all gone. The dream lay in ruins, with John DeLorean arrested for cocaine trafficking on a staggering scale. This play tells the story of what happened.


What was the inspiration for this performance?

DeLorean was a hazy news story from my youth that I never quite took in at the time, but something about it made an impression on me.  I think it had a lot to do with the fact he (John DeLorean) was American and everything American appealed to me at that time. He also looked great and kind of really stood out as someone who was going to make something happen.

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

Part of doing this show came from a number of discussions I had with people about the subject matter. Some people felt that those who would be interested in the story would not consider theatre its natural home. I wasn't particularly aggrieved about this, but it made me think about drawing a section of audience into the theatre and trying to demonstrate to them the possibilities of theatre and public discussion within it.
How did you become interested in making performance?
When I left school I trained as an engineer but from about nineteen/twenty I started to go to the theatres near to where I grew up in Dorset. It was just something I felt compelled to do (and I don't quite know where that feeling came from). I would mainly go on my own. I remember reading The Dresser by Ronald Harwood, and thinking to myself, how well it was just put together and that this was now something that I would actively pursue. I didn't know the first thing about the business, I didn't even know anyone who was in the business and when someone suggested drama school, I said - what's that?
Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?

My approach to this show and my approach when I'm directing is that I'm working for the actors, they're not working for me. It's their medium and I want them to get to the place where they are as comfortable and as prepared as possible to tell the story. 

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

I have now written a play about motorcycles and a play about a car, so I guess I still have a thing for engineering. That said, I have no ambition to write a play about aeroplanes.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

I hope the audience will sit down and disappear into the story. I think most people, and most people who will attend this show, will know the odd thing about it, but we have the opportunity to inform them of the overall thing so when they leave the theatre, they feel they've had their curiosity satisfied.

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

We are doing a slightly condensed 75-minute version for Edinburgh, where in the long term the show will be 90/95 minutes. This is what is great about Edinburgh because that strict time limit really focuses you on the story, and what is needed and what is not. We know to get this story across in an engaging way and we have to keep a particular energy together on stage. In many respects Edinburgh is the main strategy for shaping our audience experience.

Cory Peterson will play John DeLorean, alongside a cast of Mark Barrett, Charles Bateman, Aran Bell, Jonathan Hassler, Victoria Otter, Stephen Parker and Matt Weyland.

DeLorean is written and directed by Jon Ivay, who has been involved in the production of thirty-five national touring productions working with some of the UK’s best-known theatres and has been responsible for directing around half of them. Writing credits include: Inside The Firm (Queens Theatre Hornchurch), Freebird (Bristol Old Vic, Cockpit, London & Pleasance Edinburgh) Freebird film (nationwide & international release along with Cannes & Berlin film festivals).

Sound Design and Music is by Youth whose prolific production career spans three eras of music and encompasses a myriad of genres and artists including David Gilmore, Primal Scream, Guns N' Roses, The Verve and Paul McCartney. Set creative is by Hazel Low and projection by Jonathan Wright. DeLorean is produced by Freedom Picture Company and Associate Producer Dave Mauchline.

Freedom Picture Company is launching this condensed 75-minute version of the play at Edinburgh in the spirit of the Fringe’s 70th anniversary. Following the Edinburgh run, DeLorean will become a 95-minute full-length one-act show.

DeLorean runs from 3 - 27 August (excl. 14 August) at the Assembly Rooms, Ballroom, George Street. Tickets, priced £10-15 are available from, 0131 623 3030 or Assembly box offices at Assembly Hall and Assembly Roxy, Assembly George Square, Assembly Checkpoint and Assembly Rooms.

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