Monday, 14 August 2017

The Venerable Dramaturgy: Artocrite @ Edfringe 2017

Inspired by The Venerable Bede’s Dark Age description comparing human life to the flight of a sparrow on a wintry night. Artocrite Theatre invite you to follow their brief overview of desire, yearning and the daily grind, as they encounter work, sex, love, death, and clothes.

In that short time, three birds try to make sense of the world around them. Two decide to become a woman and a man. They begin to learn to follow the lifestyle expected of them, although they do not find it easy. The third bird chooses to follow its own light rather than limit its identity to one gender or the other.

The Venerable Bird’s Eye View 

“If you like weirdness, you would found us beautiful”
The ‘man’ and the ‘woman’ meet and fall in love, but soon get into difficulties as they try to perform their roles and suppress unacceptable parts of their identity.

What was the inspiration for this performance?

The inspiration from the Venerable Bede's poem,

“The present life of man upon earth, O King, seems to me in comparison with that time which is unknown to us like the swift flight of a sparrow through the mead-hall where you sit at supper in winter, with your Ealdormen and thanes, while the fire blazes in the midst and the hall is warmed, but the wintry storms of rain or snow are raging abroad. The sparrow, flying in at one door and immediately out at another, whilst he is within, is safe from the wintry tempest, but after a short space of fair weather, he immediately vanishes out of your sight, passing from winter to winter again. So this life of man appears for a little while, but of what is to follow or what went before we know nothing at all.”
We based on that poem to create what we think about human existence and gender identity.

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

Yes, we are using movement, physical theatre to discuss above issues. We gave a open-end for audience to think. 

How did you become interested in making performance?

I think theatre is a place for making dialogue with society and community. If I have a belief or statement which I want to share, theatre is good platform to communicate with others in an interesting and creative ways.

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

We use dance, movement to discuss such issues but without any words. It makes things fun, comedic and interesting.

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

Well.....actually, we usually do the show in text-based style in chinese....but that show is tailor made for fringe... no language but only impressive movement. 

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

I hope they will think about how the social norms to shaped or limited our gender identity and think more about gender stereotype in our society.  

Then one day they meet the third bird, who has transformed into a crazy old grey-bearded man with long flowing hair and an even longer white dress. He pushes a pram, plays the ukulele and sings to the birds. He also behaves in a bizarre way that shocks the couple. However, this chance encounter causes them to examine what is missing in their lives. They try to find solutions, but career towards violent conflict.
We then see the crazy old man’s past, how he came to be who he is and how he assumed his unique identity through a mixture of personal tragedy and profound love.
The ‘man’ and the ‘woman’ lose control of themselves, desperately trying to find themselves buried under all the veils of civilization, until the crazy old bird takes them back into the night. 

C primo (studio) venue 41 19 Hill Street, Edinburgh EH2 3JP
2-15 Aug at 22:10 (1hr00)
Tickets £9.50-£11.50 / concessions £7.50-£9.50

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