To find out more about Festival 47 and the spotlights, please see the introductory article.
Next up in our Spotlight feature is Fridge, which plays Festival 47 from 15 July 2017 at 15:30. I caught up with writer and actor Emma Zadow:
Describe your show in three words.
Spoken Word Odyssey.
Tell us a bit more about your theatre company.
As a company formed of international theatre makers, we focus on engaging young people through the arts to support, develop and adapt new writing, and create work extensively with emerging playwrights.
Our aim is to create awareness of specific social issues and it is important for us as a production company to find projects that are innovative, interactive and current. Fridge is a culmination piece of a collaboration between music, spoken word and theatre that explores not just mental health, but the nature of nostalgia and growing up. Working together, from Norway to Norfolk, we want to continue exploring contemporary issues and stories from unheard voices.
Is this your first time at the King’s Head?
This is our first time at the King’s Head Theatre and being able to work with a theatre that is working so closely with Equity in terms of pay and gender ratio for its artists means a great deal to us.
Who else in the festival programme are you most excited about?
Bridle by Stephanie Martin particularly excites us as it is going to explore a corner of the female voice seldom heard.
Who or what are your inspirations to continue making theatre?
In terms of theatre, Kate Tempest is a great example not just as a theatre maker and spoken word artist but as an activist for our generation.
Mojisola Adebayo is another playwright who uses spoken word in her work in a memory play format. Her understanding of rhythms and tempo are so rich and darkly funny at the same time.
One theatre company we admire is GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN, whose work Number 1, The Plaza at the Soho Theatre proved to us the power and playfulness of broken genre performance. From paintings and photography, to magazines, music or the English tutor in the queue at Tesco, there’s inspiration everywhere when you bring mediums together for theatre.
What are the future plans for your show?
We would love to return with Fridge to the King’s Head as a full production having worked with them after Festival 47. Developing the play’s identity as part-spoken word, part-drama has given us a unique theatrical experience for the fringe and we would love to start bringing it forward to the fringe and off west end circuit.
It’s a play about the increasingly critical climate of mental illness in our millennials and so we also want to bring this story to a wider audience and to young adult audiences nationally in the form of a tour. New writing needs to engage with new audiences who wouldn’t necessarily have access to it.
What is the best production you have seen this year – can be any genre, style, in any theatre or performance space?
Amy Draper’s The Tempest at the Southwark Playhouse. Her direction of the musicality in and amongst the audience really immersed you in the ‘isle’. She opened up her imagination and the imaginations of her actors to us as the audience.
Is there anything else you want to highlight about your show?
Fridge is a story we want to bring forward, of a story of the millennials that are isolated, confused with no guiding hand to help. It is set in Norfolk, where the region has witnessed numerous tragedies over the last two years. A significant number of these tragedies involved people already known to mental health services. There is a serious problem here in reaching isolated young people suffering with mental illness and with another tragedy this month touching more and more of the community, we have woven a piece inspired by the people this issue has taken, touched and broken apart.
Writer: Emma Zadow
Director: Tonje Wik Olaussen
Producer: Blackout Creative Arts
Cast: Leo Garrick, Mary O’Loan, Emma Zadow
Fridge plays King’s Head Theatre as part of Festival 47 on 15, 16 & 22 July 2017. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.