We are delighted to welcome guest blogger Jessica Cheetham and the team from Spun Glass Theatre. With two hit shows at Brighton Fringe 2016, there’s plenty to share on their fringe journey to and beyond Edinburgh Fringe 2016.
Jessica and Spun Glass Theatre share their experiences of making successful theatre work and bringing it to the world’s largest arts festival.
On Wednesday night we performed Operation Love Story at King’s Head Theatre. During Edinburgh Suzanne is staying with us in our rented flat but we’ve never met her before. She came to see the show which was awesome and I chatted to her about her show (a great idea called Head Set – comedians performing only with their heads – check it out here)
During our conversation it really hit me how exciting it’s going to be up in Edinburgh to meet lots of new people and have conversations about art.
Spun Glass Theatre is made up of some of my oldest, most reliable theatrical collaborators and that’s exciting. It’s exciting because you’re so comfortable with that person, you know their ideas inside out so they can push you that bit further each time. It’s getting to the stage where you can fart in bed, roll over and get the best sex of your life because your husband of many years knows exactly how to turn you on. You criticise each other. You make each other better. You can be disgusting around one another.
However, that’s not what excited me on Wednesday night. What excited me was how alive I felt chatting about Suzanne’s ideas and hearing her thoughts about mine. They weren’t the best ideas I’d ever had or anything but the conversation really energised me. It was a great artist hook up.
So I thought, you are probably going to have two kinds of artist hook ups in Edinburgh. The Fringe is a messy, dirty place and you’re going to be right in the thick of it with some of the best artists in the world.
There will be artist one night stands. These are the people whose names you can’t remember and you definitely didn’t get their number. But that conversation has lifted you. It’s challenged you. You were maybe a bit more experimental, rougher, quicker and drunker than with your old faithful collaborators. In many ways it was quite naughty. You probably didn’t spend much time talking about your feelings.
The one night stands will come thick and fast; dive into them and lap them up. Creating work can feel really isolating and lonely – seize the chance to get a bit mucky and keep an open mind – a one-night stand could spark something really different for your practice.
I reckon there will also be a few Fringe fuck buddies. We all know what they are like. You’re drawn to them, they keep popping up wherever you are and they make you laugh. You know you don’t want to commit and you hope they feel the same way. But it’s thrilling and they help you to see something in yourself that you didn’t really know was there.
Maybe you’ll never see your artist fuck buddy/buddies again after the Fringe. Probably not. But they have to power to majorly shake your work up and reveal something about yourself. You may never want to make them part of your faithful artistic relationships but they are so useful.
Then, what really gets me going, what’s really turning me on about the idea of packing up a van and waving goodbye to reality on Monday morning, is that my old faithful artist lovers are up there with me too. And we have an open relationship – they are going to be off sparking ideas all over the place with god knows who. But that means, after a month of intense artist hook ups, that ultimately my company will be richer, stronger and more inspired than when we arrived.
So, get promiscuous with your networking this Fringe and let yourself be inspired.
There’s still a couple of chances to catch Operation Love Story at The King’s Head Theatre before we head off to Edinburgh: Tonight 8pm (Friday 29 July) and Sunday 31 July 6.30pm
Fringe Guru said it was “well-written and beautifully executed” TICKETS HERE
It’s been a while since we took a show to Edinburgh as we’ve been working hard to gain more skills and refine the artistic vision of the company. The time spent in development was really beneficial as we now have a body of work at Zoo Venues this year that we’re really proud of.
Stamp is an irreverent cabaret gameshow playing with gender stereotypes and pitting audience teams against one another to see whether men or women come out top. It’s an end to the battle of the sexes and pokes fun at society’s clear gender binaries. It’s an interactive show, different every night and we are embracing the chaos that comes with inviting the audience onstage to play with us.
Operation Love Story is the other side of the theatrical coin – a beautiful storytelling piece written by Jennifer Williams. A narrator spins a tale set in a lonely land of big buildings. She is determined that her neighbours are destined to be together and sets about trying to match-make them…to no avail. The staging of the show is minimal – the piece lives in the audience’s imagination and the performance plays with the delivery of the poignant and witty text.
We’re previewing Operation Love Story in London next week, so you can still catch the show if you’re not heading up to Edinburgh. We’re using the preview performances to experiment with how we adapt the performance to a new theatre space – always a big challenge for any show going to Edinburgh Fringe. The stage set up at The King’s Head Theatre is much more intimate than in Brighton, almost in the round, which I think will be excellent for the personal tone of the storytelling.
You can book for Operation Love Story here if you fancy it.
This blog will be a collection of our thoughts, reflections and experiences as an emerging theatre company working in the same way that all of you are – embracing the spirit of the Fringe to create great work, meet new people and hopefully get some return on our big financial investment. This blog will record our highs and lows with a bit of fun for you and us along the way.