Friday, 27 July 2018

A clown Dramaturgy about Rain:Josie Underwood @ Edfringe 2018

Physical clown comedy about mental health set to take Edinburgh by storm.
 Clown Show About Rain
It makes sense to take an umbrella out when rain's coming, but some things can't be forecast like the weather.

Brand new show from Silent Faces, Clown Show About Rain is a physical comedy about mental health, and what it means to ‘brave the storm’.


First of all, how do you define mental health? What does the term mean to you - do you have a social model of sanity, for example, or is it concerned with neural atypical conditions?
We define mental health as one would define physical health - everyone has mental health and it is on a ever-moving scale. Just as one can get fitter or let their fitness slide, our mental health can be in a better or worse state depending on what we put ourselves through or whether we succumb to illness. It should be valued and understood just as our physical health is, and just like our physical condition, our mental health is subject to change. Although some are more susceptible to mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, everyone is at risk. With 1 in 4 people suffering with ill mental health from year to year it is likely that we will all be effected either directly or indirectly at some point in our lives, but for a plethora of reasons we are not equipped to deal with it. We don’t talk about our mental health, and we don’t tell people how to cope when they are struggling.

What areas of mental health are you looking at in the performance?
A Clown Show About Rain looks at mental health as if it were weather. When it is a sunny day with a nice breeze it is pretty easy to get on with things, but when there is a downpour life becomes much more of a struggle. In this way we are looking at mental health from a broad perspective of the good days and bad days that everyone experiences. But we are also looking at the feeling of a constant drip, a persistent and unexplained drop that some people find themselves dealing with as well as the general good days and bad days. Overall we are looking at how we care for one another, and how hard it can be to articulate what is going on inside your head.

In what ways do you hope that your play can help the audience to move forward in their understanding and actions towards a greater sense of mental good health?
We hope that A Clown Show About Rain makes audiences view mental health in a less stigmatised, more universal way. By likening mental health to the weather we are showing visually what can usually go undefined, and hopefully showing that while some people have constant sunny days and others might have intermittent downpours, we are all on the same scale, and therefore caring for ourselves and one another might be easier than we thought.

Given the high pressure nature of the Fringe, do you have any ideas about positive self-care during August in Edinburgh.

Don’t succumb to the pressure of having a 'perfect fringe’! There will always be emails you forget to send, shows you don’t manage to see, performances that don’t go so well, money you shouldn’t have spent and events you should have gone to, but your mental health is more important! Taking time for yourself, whether it is a coffee break, a nice walk, a trip to the cinema (shock, horror, replacing fringe theatre with film during the fringe?!) you deserve to take time to do the things that make you feel normal! There is no place in the world like the Edinburgh Fringe, but that doesn’t mean that you should neglect yourself while you enjoy the festival!

Forth, Cromarty and Dogger are three fools at sea. They are under the watchful eye of the lighthouse keepers, who eat their tuna sandwiches and eagerly anticipate the next Shipping Forecast. Battling the elements - wind, rain, sun, mops, buckets, maps, misdirection and cups of tea - they all set off on a journey.
After receiving critical acclaim with their 2017 Edinburgh Fringe debut, Follow Suit (**** The Stage, **** The Scotsman), Silent Faces return to Edinburgh with Clown Show About Rain, a dazzling look at the unpredictable nature of mental health, told through clown, physical comedy and dance-theatre. Using their unique style of high-concept, metaphorical, playful theatre, the clowns create a heart-warming silent show, accessible to a universal audience. Entering in the conversation surrounding mental health and providing an entertaining metaphor that audiences can engage with, Clown Show About Rain is a physical comedy that follows three sailors faced with the drip of everyday life at sea, and joins them in trying to the weather the storm that’s coming.
With 1 in 4 people every year affected by mental health problems, and growing numbers of people suffering in silence, the show was born out of a need to talk about mental health. A Clown Show About Rain is a silent attempt to get audiences laughing, thinking and, most importantly, talking.
A new associate company of The Pleasance, and recently shortlisted for the Underbelly/New Diorama UNTAPPED Award for Edinburgh Fringe 2018, Silent Faces are an integrated company of disabled and non-disabled performers that make physical, political and comic devised theatre. Priding themselves on making work that explores the unique possibilities of that arise from working with disabled and non-disabled performers and challenging the assumption that such work is limited in its potential, Silent Faces are particularly passionate about current ongoing debates surrounding “invisible” disabilities, including long-term mental health conditions. Clown Show About Rain engages with the conversation around mental health, and, through silent clowning, encourages audiences to talk and listen.
Silent Faces were awarded the 2016 Integrated Fringe bursary and their debut show Follow Suit was nominated for Best Young Production at Brighton Fringe 2016 before going on to receive critical acclaim at Edinburgh Fringe 2017.
              10 Dome, Pleasance Dome
                        
 1st-27th August (not 13th or 20th)
Time                 13.40pm (1hr)


          

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