Apparently we described ‘Shoo
We’re hearing good things about
Shoo Baby’, on at Gilded Balloon
Hmmm, not sure what to make of this Aussies Scod, Yon and Gatesy, better
Teviot, as having “outstanding
one to be honest, but it’s deﬁnitely known as ‘Tripod’, who are on at the
voices” last year, reason enough
something to look at - ‘Stonewall’ at Spiegeltent. In fact, I have a mental
to send a photographer down to
the Pleasance. note to get them interviewed before
their grand Fringe 2007 entrance
this Fringe is done.
- motorbike and all.
faith, hope, and... genocide?
claire bayley on writing a play for a container
THE FRINGE IS no stranger to site speciﬁc not to let the play become expositional, or to try thoughts about the issue of immigration.
theatre – we’ve seen shows everywhere from taxis and pack too many facts into it. That’s why I’ve There are no easy answers, but it’s
to toilets. This year the insightful new play ‘The tried to capture the emotional truth of what people important to remember the human side
Container’ is taking place in, well, a container. have told me, rather than every literal detail of of the story. And I hope audiences have
Playwright Claire Bayley answers some questions.... their story. This is not verbatim theatre, though it a powerful theatrical experience.
is very truthful. Everything in the play is based on
Your play is staged in a very original way something I’ve been told or something I’ve read. Are you hopeful about theatre’s
– where did the concept originate from? But no one character has been based on any one potential to effect real social/political
I thought that a container was the ideal theatrical person - the play is like a collage of stories and the change?
setting for a play about immigration. But I wasn’t characters are composite ﬁgures. Theatre is an empathic medium, it works
sure whether I’d ﬁnd a producer brave enough to through experience not intellect. So it
stage the play in a real truck. Fortunately, I did! Was all the research you undertook especially will never change laws, but it can affect
for this play? the way that people feel about things.
Yes, people are hungry for radical new work here;
How did you develop this idea? Did you work I had already spoken to many asylum seekers when And that is the most powerful instrument of
audiences get caught up in the festival fever and are
closely with director Tom Wright? I was writing my play ‘Northern Lights’. And I am change that there is.
more daring in their choice of shows up here.
The script was already written when Tom joined always interested to hear stories of migration and
the project, but he was adamant that it had to be exile from people I meet. But when I decided to The play is set in a claustrophobic
Do you have any plans to take ‘The Container’
staged in a real lorry, and was determined to give write ‘The Container’, I sought out people from the environment. Did this restriction create any
the production a kind of hyper realism - hence no countries my characters come from to hear their problems in terms of the writing of the play?
Hopefully, but you’ll have to talk to my producers
stage lighting, just torches to light the space and the stories – especially Somalia and Afghanistan. It was a challenge to write a play in which nobody
audience sitting on packing crates - which (except the agent) can ever be offstage, there is
are surprisingly comfortable. What is your ‘intention’ for the play? no sense of day or night, and there is only one
Questions: Hazel Smith [hs]
I hope that audiences will go on an emotional location for the action. But restrictions are always
Realism would seem to be crucial to this play - journey with the characters, so that they get some the best thing for writers, because you have to work
The Container, Nimble Fish / Underbelly / Escalator
how much research did you have to do in order greater insight into the realities of why people leave imaginatively within the limits that are set.
East to Edinburgh / Creative Partnerships Thames
to make the play representative of the real their countries, and what it is like to do so. The
Gateway, E4 UdderBELLY’s Pasture, 3 - 26 Aug (not
experiences of immigrants? characters are by no means all nice, kind, deserving Do you value the Festival as a space for the
13), times vary, £10.00, fpp 181.
I have done a lot of research, but it’s important victims, so I hope to provoke some more complex development of new methods in theatre?
more reviews more often – check out the very latest Edinburgh Festival reviews every day at www.threeweeks.co.uk
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