Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Landing Dramaturgy: Antler @ Edfringe 2017

by Antler Theatre

2 performers, a mini trampoline and a 1000 piece puzzle.

Leah and Sophie have been together, here, for a long time. They are happy here. 
But there’s a problem. There’s a massive f**king problem and soon they’re going to have to talk about it.

The award-winning Antler return to the fringe with a playful, intimate dissection of a relationship teetering on the edge of collapse.

Exploring the impossibility of relationships, our inability to understand one another, and the lands we isolate ourselves on, this is an absurd tragi-comedy for our times.

Answers by director Jaz Woodcock-Stewart from Antler

What was the inspiration for this performance?
It's inspired by a number of things, from

political events in the last year, personal events in our lives and ongoing questions and struggles we have with and in the world. It's about how we reconcile what we want with what other people want. It's about two people trying to understand each other. It's about difference, and existing alongside other people. It's about love. The inspiration for all of this was a mini trampoline. 

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

It's the perfect space for the consideration of ideas. Whether this translates to discussion is another thing, but it's certainly my favourite place to be provoked about the way the world works and the way people behave. The liveness of it is unescapable. The actual theatre is often difficult to escape. So when/where better to think about something

How did you become interested in making performance?

Feel pretty privileged to have had parents who took me to see a lot of theatre. I ended up at a Youth Theatre, anxiously watching other people improvising and hoping I wouldn't be picked on to do anything. But there was definitely something about it. I also loved making things, making songs, making cards, bossing people around whenever we had a drama exercise set in English. I spent my art GCSE making sculptures out of litter. Hopefully I've got better at making art since then. It seemed obvious in the end that my love for watching theatre would result in wanting to make it for other people, in wanting to understand how it works and how to make it work well.

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

Not really. Each show is slightly different. I try to stick by the rules of play first, think later. Finding the game. Rules give you freedom etc etc. Mining for meaning.

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

Yes and no. This is our first show without narrative and character in a traditional sense. In a traditional 'play' sense. It's not set in 'the white' (Where The White Stops) or at an
advertising agency (If I Were Me). It's happening in the room. Although there is narrative. And there is character. I guess we're not pretending it's anything other than it is. And yes- because I think it has the same sense of humour - the same enjoyment of the absurd, the silly, the bleak.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?
I'm not sure it's useful to say too much. I hope they see themselves in the story, and see themselves in both Leah and Sophie's situations.
I hope that it will be disturbing and comforting in equal measure.
What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?
Well that's everything isn't it. Loads of strategies, key overriding strategies and thousands of micro strategies. I guess that's about what I think makes good art and how i go about it. Not sure I could do that question justice, succinctly- but to generalise massively, it comes back to truth doesn't it? How do you achieve that? I'll let you know when I've worked it out.

Developed at Battersea Arts Centre

Created by Antler

Directed and devised by Jasmine Woodcock-Stewart

Performed and devised by Leah Brotherhead and Sophie Steer

Originally devised with Richard Perryman and Nasi Voutsas

Produced by Hannah Smith and Claire Gaydon

About Antler

Antler are an associate company at The Bush. Winner of the IdeasTap Underbelly Award, winner of Pulse Festival Suitcase Prize, nominated for The Stage Best Ensemble Award, and winner of Best Short Fiction at BFI Future Film Festival, Antler have transferred shows to The Bush, Soho Theatre and toured the UK. 

Antler are Jasmine Woodcock-Stewart, Nasi Voutsas, Daniela Pasquini and Richard Perryman. Working together for three years under the mentorship of Uri Roodner and East 15's Contemporary Course, they made their debut at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe. Their previous shows include This Way Up (2012), Maria 1968 (2012), Where The White Stops (2013-2014), If I Were Me (2015-2016) and Lands (2017).

Jasmine Woodcock-Stewart

Jasmine is a founding member and co-Artistic Director of Antler.

Jasmine trained on the National Theatre Studio Director's Course and on the Acting and Contemporary Theatre course at East 15. She was a finalist for JMK Award 2016 at The Young Vic with her production of Woyzeck by Georg Buchner. She recently assisted Tim Crouch on the international tour of Adler and Gibb, and was Resident Director on Lazarus, directed by Ivo van Hove. In September, she will continue working with Ivo van Hove as Staff Director on Network at the National Theatre.

 Sophie Steer

Sophie trained at LAMDA.

THEATRE INCLUDES: TANK, National Tour (Breach Theatre); STILL ILL, New Diorama (Kandinsky Theatre); ASTRONAUTS OF HARTLEPOOL by Tim Foley, winner of Vaults festival Origins Awards for New Work; SPARKS by Simon Longman, Old Red Lion; BUCKETS, Orange Tree Theatre; ROMEO & JULIET, Watermill Theatre.

TV INCLUDES: CHICKENS, Big Talk Productions. Short films include, CALIBANS CAVE, short film adaptation of Tim Crouchs 'I, Caliban'; A THOUSAND EMPTY GLASSES, nominated for Best Short at Raindance/ Palm Springs. 

 Leah Brotherhead

THEATRE INCLUDES: Two Gentlemen of Verona (The Globe Theatre/Liverpool Everyman); Wolf Hall & Bring Up The Bodies (RSC/Aldwych Theatre/The Winter Gardens On Broadway); Another Place (Theatre Royal Plymouth); Pride and Prejudice (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); Doctor Faustus(West Yorkshire Playhouse/Glasgow Citizen’s); People Like Us (Pleasance); Euphoria (Ensemble 52); DNA (Hull Truck/UK tour); The Kitchen Sink (Bush)

TV INCLUDES: Doctors, Vera, Casualty, Boy meets Girl 

FILM: Jess//Jim.

RADIO: Leah is a BBC Carleton Hobbs award winner and has played numerous roles for the BBC Radio rep company.

 Claire Gaydon

Claire trained at East 15 Acting School before creating Everything I Own theatre company; Rémy (Edinburgh Fringe, Arcola Theatre, Lincoln Drill Hall), Somebody I Used to Know (Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, Camden People’s Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe, Harrogate Theatre). She is currently developing new solo show, How to Live Forever (Lincoln Performing Arts Centre).

Claire has recently begun producing work including immersive dining experience The Wake of Percy Clements (Last Tuesday Society) and currently Lands (ANTLER theatre).

 Hannah Smith

Hannah is an independent producer, who has worked with Fuel, The Wardrobe Ensemble, Cardboard Citizens, curious directive and is an alumni of Stage One. Producing credits include; Education, Education, Education (The Wardrobe Ensemble), 1972: The Future of Sex (The Wardrobe Ensemble), If I Were Me (RADAR at Bush Theatre; Pulse; CPT; Edinburgh Fringe), Hellscreen (VAULT Festival); How does a Snake Shed its Skin? (Oval House; BAC, Summerhall; Camden People's Theatre);  if what I hear is true (The Yard), ANGLE at the Bush (Bush Theatre). As tour manager; Your Last Breath (Korean tour), Where the White Stops (Mac Birmingham, York Theatre Royal, the egg, Theatre Royal Bath, rural touring with The Touring Network), Idiot-Syncrasy, Spot the Difference.

Venue:  Anatomy Lecture Theatre, Summerhall, Summerhall Pl, Edinburgh EH9 1PL
Time:  12.00pm
Running Time: 50 mins
Dates: Tuesday 8th August – Sunday 20th August 2017 (not 14th Aug)
Tickets: £10 (£8 concessions)

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