To find out more about Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 and the spotlights, please see the introductory article.
Next up in our Spotlight feature is Hidden, which plays Edinburgh Festival from 21 – 26 August 2017. I caught up with writer and director Gary Thomas:
Describe your show in three words.
Dark thrilling joyride.
Is this your first Edinburgh Fringe performance experience?
I’m very excited about bringing Hidden to the Edinburgh Fringe this year.
This is a play about mental health & my own experiences. Its been my most successful play to date in terms of feedback. I think its because its a completely honest portrayal so I’m eager to see what a ‘mainstream’ audience will make of it as well as to see what Adam Donaldson can bring to it.
Who else are you most looking forward to seeing while at the Fringe?
Well, last year I saw 27 shows in a week so anything! I think Edinburgh is one of those fringes where you go with half a plan and then just see who you hear about or see randomly while you’re there. That’s how I like to do things anyway! I am looking forward to seeing Scott Agnew (Spunk on Our Lady’s Face) though, I saw him last year and he’s great. I’ll have a couple of days where I can see shows at 10.15pm and then from the 21st I’ll be at my show.
How do you feel to be performing at theSpace @ Jury’s Inn?
The venue is great for new writing and its within a hub so there’s plenty of footfall from other shows too. It’s funny because I chatted to theSpace venues last year about bringing a show when I had no idea how I’d do that, and now I have a producer on board I’m doing exactly that!
Who or what are your inspirations?
I’ve been writing since I was 14 and I’d say if it was easy for me to stop making up stories then I may have done that already, but I keep dreaming of fully formed characters and stories! I was in McDonalds the other day and just looking around I came up with half a page of dialogue which I had to type on my phone because I didn’t want to forget it. I loved Luke Barnes‘ play Bottleneck and I love Graeae Theatre too. Also both Jamie Eastlake and Scott Ellis are equally inspiring because of the whole ethos at TheatreN16 in supporting new writing and theatre makers.
What is your secret to surviving the intense, fast pace of the fringe?
Love every minute of it, see a real mix of shows, see things you think you might not like and you might be surprised. Catch up with friends, but also give yourself time off if you need to. I always wanted to go to the Edinburgh book fair, haven’t been to it yet in all my years of going to Edinburgh, but I know it’s a completely different vibe. I have cousins in Glasgow so I’ll visit them whilst I’m there too. I’m there till the 31st so I’ll have time to wind down after my shows.
What are the future plans for your show?
The dream with all my writing is to get a West End transfer or to get an agent and get a commission for a new play. It would be great if industry want to read my memoir too, as that’s what Hidden is based on.
What is the best production you have seen this year – can be any genre, style, in any theatre or performance space?
This Is Not Culturally Significant I saw both at The Vaults and The Bunker was pretty special. Utterly insane but very enjoyable. I also saw Aladdin for my birthday which was so much fun.
Is there anything else you want to highlight about your show/ theatre company/ production?
It’s a very enjoyable show and I know people that find it will enjoy it. Adam Donaldson is a great performer and you’ll love being in his company.
Writer/ Director: Gary Thomas
Producer: Eastlake Productions/ Film on Film Entertainment
Cast: Adam Donaldson
Hidden plays theSpace @ Jury’s Inn as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 from 21- 26 August 2017. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.