Taking a show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is scary.

The tiny world of St Andrews theatre, whilst full of opportunities, is one that is ultimately populated with your friends and contemporaries – the audience are almost always supportive, because they are almost always in some way connected to somebody in the show.

The Fringe does not work this way. Months of preparation (we have been working periodically since November 2015), a summer of research, line-learning and a week of intense rehearsals will end up with my team and I going out to the real world of the world’s largest arts festival, immersed in a sea of student plays, trying to convince people that ours is worth their time and money.

I am in the fortunate position of believing that this play is worth their time and money.

We have a wonderful cast and crew, with every year group represented and even study-abroad students. As such, I have been blown away with the enthusiastic approach that everybody has taken to the show. In our first read-through, long before exam season, there was a real sense of collective purpose – for many of the cast, this was the first time that they had read the script that my producer Danielle and I prepared over the Christmas break. To hear their laughter and gasps is exciting. These are the people I will be working with to elicit those same reactions from an audience and they are so behind this play with their motivation and dedication.

‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore is centred around the incestuous relationship between Giovanni and Annabella and works as a sort of subversive Romeo and Juliet. This means lots of research about the period and lots of work establishing believable relationships between characters. This play will be the first in verse that I have worked on, and close attention will have to be paid in rehearsal to appreciating the care and poetry in John Ford’s original script.

12495094_239414406408796_3093785503719611768_nThis same meticulous approach is the reason that Danielle, Mishia and I founded Wanton Theatre. We believe in theatre that pays very close attention to detail in set, costume, tech and text and that means a summer of careful research sourcing costumes, set, and props (including period weapons and even pig’s blood).

As a director, the biggest thrill will come when we first get into that rehearsal room. Taking that script and seeing what this cast can make it into. It will always be, for me, the best part of making a play. This is the first time that I have had a rehearsal period that is analogous to the way in which theatre is done professionally. An intensive week of rehearsals in St Andrews will ready everything that we do in Edinburgh and this is an amazing opportunity to get to grips with the text and to make the sort of spectacle that we’re looking for.

Taking a play to the Fringe is an incredible and unique experience and I for one cannot wait for their audiences to see what we have spent so long making.

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http://wantontheatre.org
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/tis-pity-she-s-a-whore

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