Saturday, 15 July 2017

True Dramaturgy: Molly Naylor and Lucy Farrant @ Edfringe 2017

Edinburgh International Book Festival
Venue: Spiegeltent, Charlotte Square 
Date: 20 Aug 
Time: 21:00 (90 mins) 
Workshop: 20 August, 14.30 - 16.30, The Greenhouse 1, George St. EH2 4JN

What was the inspiration for True Stories Live?

TSL: We started TSL a year ago. We wanted to give people the opportunity to tell their story on a stage without the pressure of it feeling too performative. We suspected there was an appetite for truth and authenticity in our local community and this proved to be true. After a year of sell-out shows at Norwich Arts Centre, we decided it was time to take True Stories Live on tour. 

Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas?

TSL : It always has been and I think it still is. I think there's currently a particular hunger for stories told in a way that's genuine and direct. Life is busy and confusing – sometimes it's heartening, fun and useful to see a show that is imperfect in its presentation of ideas and themes.  When we strive for perfection, we relinquish our humanity. At TSL we explore and celebrate fallibility and mistakes.

The stories told at our events engage our audiences and encourage the expression of ideas and emotions .

How did you first become interested in making performance?

Molly: My mum took me to the theatre a lot when I was little. I loved it but I never felt like it was something I'd ever be able to be a part of, it seemed to scary and distant. Then when I was a teenager I happened to see Henry Normal and Nigel Planer performing their poetry at the art school in Falmouth, where I grew up. I was mesmerised. 

And I felt like it was something I could maybe do one day. There wasn't any artifice, it was just people sharing their art and ideas. They were vulnerable and honest.  For the first time it occurred to me that just standing up and saying what you and that raw humanity was enough of a show. 

Lucy: I have had an interest in performance for as long as I can remember- taking part in school drama and music and reading the culture sections of the broadsheets from a precocious age. Via a convoluted career path, one of my other main activities is as Director of an arts organisation which has a mission to deliver opportunities across all art forms for young people and to provide platforms for them to nurture and display their creativity. 

Both that role and my role with TSL enable me to create opportunities for performance to happen and to flourish.

Is there any particular approach you took to the making of the show?

TSL Molly delivers workshops to help people find and share their stories. We particularly welcome and encourage people who may never have done anything like this before. We want to give regular people the opportunity (and challenge) to share a bit of themselves on stage, and to give the audience the chance to feel humbled and inspired by the huge generosity of this act of sharing.

Does the show fit with the style of your other productions?

Molly: I am also a scriptwriter and theatre-maker, so this is obviously a pretty different thing. I guess what these different aspects of my work have in common is the element of truth-seeking which underpins the process, even though the medium for delivery is very different. There are so many ways to tell stories and I will probably always be obsessed with exploring different modes of making and telling them.

Lucy: This show fits with the general theme running through my career in the arts so far. It provides a safe but potentially challenging platform for self expression. The main difference is the potential for surprise-in advance of our regular events we request a brief synopsis of each person’s story but there is no way of knowing  how the story will come out on the night….

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

TSL: They will experience a range of vastly different stories told by people from all sorts of backgrounds. Some will be funny, some will be silly, some will be sad, some plain weird. They will all be true, and they will all come from people who have taken a risk and challenged themselves in order to share a bit of their humanity in all its gorgeous messiness. 

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