The St Andrews theatre scene always has plenty to offer, and Boxed In Theatre Company is offering us something entirely different, once again, with their latest original production of Lobes.
Theatre is a creative medium in which we can explore the many complex themes and issues which are prevalent in society. Of course, a theatre production can simply be a piece of entertainment, but the productions that stand out to me are those which go beyond that. In my French theatre module last year, we questioned what makes something theatre, and could not come up with a concrete answer. Many theorists have pushed the boundaries of theatre through immersion, method, expressionism etc. Mr Savage, director of Lobes, is exploring yet another one – Site-specific theatre.
At the heart of the story is a relationship, but this is by no means a romantic piece. Mr Roberts, the playwright, addresses many important issues including mental health, memory, and the psychological. It plays with the idea that it is difficult to see things from someone else’s perspective and that everything we remember is untrue; an idea that Mr Savage was keen to portray in St Andrews.
The process started back in November with casting and some workshopping before Christmas. This is a bit longer than average for a St Andrews production, but I am certain that the extra effort invested by the talented cast and crew will pay off.
The play is going to be quite intimate, with a cast of two and a crew of five, which has enabled the team to work closely together. Many of them have worked on productions previously and are well versed in the St Andrean theatre scene. The difficulty with a cast of two is that they are always on stage and there is no break, so the characterisation is incredibly important. This has been reflected in the rehearsal process that Mr Savage has chosen to follow, looking deeply at the intention behind an action and splitting the script into chunks for further analysis.
Contributing to this more novel approach to script work is the choice of venue for the play. Many a time, I have been sat in the audience of the Barron, the St.Age or The Byre, but this time, Lobes will take us to the multipurpose lab in the medical building, a bit further than we would normally go for entertainment. But why the medical lab? Mr Savage believes that site specific theatre has an ability to “harness the emotions and memories of a space to create a deeper and wider connection with an audience”. The lab allows us to consider the medical and scientific whilst exploring social issues and relationships, and thus becomes an “entirely new actor in the tool kit”.
So, who is this play for? Well, there is no target audience. One of the main aims of Boxed In Theatre Company is to make theatre more accessible geographically and economically. For Mr Savage and other members of his team, theatre is not just a hobby whilst at university, it is something that they want to pursue long term; Lobes is their latest offering to the Bubble. If you are interested in seeing something entirely different and an honest representation of real issues then I would suggest booking yourself a ticket and heading down to the Medical Building on 13, 14 or 15 March at 7pm. I will definitely be there.
Tickets are now available at https://fixr.co/event/362021532