Wednesday, 16 August 2017

If Dramaturgy: Lynn Pegler @ Edfringe 2017


An exciting new one act play about Jungle Book author Rudyard Kipling will be on stage at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for five performances, 23-25 August.

What was the inspiration for this performance?

I was invited to write a play about an author for a festival of writers in Liverpool. Deciding which writer to choose was difficult but my starting point was the nation’s favourite poem ’If’ by Rudyard Kipling. I then investigated Kipling’s life and discovered he was very well travelled and had suffered all sorts of personal difficulties and regrets. This all made great material for a play.

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

I think performance is an excellent place for presenting ideas and information. Many view Kipling as a two dimensional, unfashionable, out of date writer. I hope my play helps to present a much more complex character and show how he was an immensely gifted product of his time and background. It’s good to start a debate.

How did you become interested in making performance?

I enjoy writing and performing so it’s great to combine the two.

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

I wanted it to be lively, with plenty of movement. America, Britain, India and Japan are represented on stage and Kipling moves around the world with a suitcase – always travelling and searching.

I also wanted to feature his most popular poems and stories, plus some surprises, woven into the dialogue.

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

Every production is different.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

We hope to delight, entertain and provide an exciting insight into a great man’s extraordinary life.

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

Audiences have talked of laughing and crying during the preview shows which is exactly what we were hoping for. The show contains humour and intense sadness.

‘If Only: An Audience with Rudyard Kipling’, by Lynn Pegler, explores his extraordinary life and devastating personal consequences of World War One. The Nobel Literature Prize winner is famous for writing the nation’s favourite poem ‘If’ – which will feature along with other popular poems and stories woven into the one hour stage show.

Lynn said: “We are particularly thrilled to bring this production to the Arthur Conan Doyle Centre as the two authors were apparently good friends. Kipling invited Conan Doyle to stay with him in America when he was living in Vermont. It appears that Conan Doyle taught him to play golf in the snow – by painting the golf balls red!

“I was inspired to write the show for a festival of authors in Liverpool. The more I delved into Kipling’s fascinating itinerant life, the more it became apparent that he suffered a series of major regrets – hence the title.

“I am delighted to say the previews have gone down a storm and we are very much looking forward to premiering the show in this beautiful Victorian building which has so many associations for both great writers.”

‘If Only: An Audience with Rudyard Kipling’, performed in costume by Matt Jones and Lynn Pegler, will be on stage at 12 noon daily from Wednesday 23 to Sunday 27 August, at the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre, 25 Palmerston Place, EH12 5AP. Venue 290, near Haymarket.

Tickets are priced £8 (£7) and are available from the Fringe Box Office tel 0131 226 0000.

1 comment :

  1. A very moving play..beautifully portrayed, captivating well written. It swept me along experiencing 'Ruddy's' life - thoroughly enjoyable and should not be missed.