Edinburgh date for Theatre Uncut

Oct 27 2013 | By More

Local groups take up the challenge with six new plays

By Thom Dibdin

Six new short plays by the likes of Kieran Hurley, AJ Taudevin and Tim Price will be performed on November 15 at Summerhall as part of the Edinburgh offering for Theatre Uncut.

Theatre Uncut was set up in 2010 by Emma Callander (incoming associate director at the Traverse) and Hannah Price as a response to the cuts in public spending that were being outlined by the UK coalition government in October that year.

The directors of Active Inquiry, Bedlam, edgeeradica, The Lost City and Urban Fox Theatre unite for Theatre Uncut. Pic: Philip Roberts

The idea is to get people thinking, talking and taking action on the events that are happening in the world around them. Playwrights are asked to write brand new short plays in response to their current political situation. These scripts are then made available for anyone to perform anywhere for a limited period.

This Autumn’s event, Edinburgh Unites: Theatre Uncut, is being run by Edinburgh residents Carol Hayes and Damhán McLaughlin who were inspired after seeing a performance of David Greig’s contribution to Theatre Uncut  in 2012.

Despite not having a budget, they found that people were so inspired by the concept that they gathered enough interest for a whole evening of theatre.

McLaughlin, an English teacher at James Gillespie’s, said: ‘Initially we thought we might be able to stage something in our front room to a few friends, but so many people came forward that we realised we had to do something bigger. I think people feel that these ideas need to be heard.”

Hayes, founder of Edinburgh cultural events website CulturePie, added: ‘It’s not something we could have done without social media. Twitter and Facebook allow everybody to have a voice, to get involved, and I think that’s what Theatre Uncut is all about.’

Do we all get more right wing in hard times?

The plays premiered at the Traverse during this year’s fringe.  Three of the six were written in response to the provocation, ‘Do we all get more right wing in hard times?’.

Kieran Hurley’s Amanda, to be performed by community activists Active Inquiry, is about a politician submerged by daily pressures, which reflects on how tough decisions are made when the stakes are high.

The Wing by Clara Brennan, performed by  inclusive theatre company edgeeradica, features a conversation between a graduating student who would like to be a journalist and her old school, unemployed Dad.

Tim Price’s Capitalism is Crisis – staged during the fringe as Alex – will be performed by new writing group Urban Fox Theatre, and is a meditation on activism in a capitalist world.

Two of the plays are inspired by next year’s referendum: True or False by Davey Anderson and performed by new company The Lost City – who “make theatre that makes you think” – is a two-hander about a girl who is forced to become an informer in a riot.

AJ Taudevin’s 12.57, to be performed by student run Bedlam Theatre Company, is set in 2016 when two officers of Berwick-upon-Tweed Temporary Home Office Law Enforcement stand guard as the Euston-Edinburgh train approaches.

The final piece of the event will be performed by Bedlam, again, and will be created using Recipe, a set of provocations created by Rachel Chavkin of acclaimed American theatre company the TEAM, which is used to devise a new – and unique – Theatre Uncut piece.

Edinburgh Unites: Theatre Uncut
Summerhall, 1 Summerhall, Edinburgh, EH9 1PL
Friday 15 November 2013: 7.30pm.
Details on the Summerhall website: www.summerhall.co.uk
Event facebook page: www.facebook.com


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