Edinburgh Festival Spotlight: The Shape of the Pain

Edinburgh Festival Spotlight: The Shape of the Pain

To find out more about Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 and the spotlights, please see the introductory article.

Next up in our Spotlight feature is The Shape of the Pain, which plays Edinburgh Festival from 2 – 26 August 2017. I caught up with writer Chris Thorpe:

Describe your show in three words.

Experimental, personal, real.

Is this your first Edinburgh Fringe performance experience?

We’ve been in various capacities with various companies over the years.. For me, the last few things were Confirmation, Torycore and Am I Dead Yet…

Who else are you most looking forward to seeing while at the Fringe?

Barrel Organ, Javaad Alipoor, Gary McNair, Selina Thompson, Emergency Chorus, Jamie Wood, Deborah Pearson, Powder Keg.

China Plate, our producers, are also bringing up three other shows that we’re really looking forward to catching: Yvette a debut show by Urielle Klein-Mekongo, Joan Clevillé’s Plan B for Utopia and a rehearsed reading of my latest show, Status.

How do you feel to be performing at Summerhall?

It’s a great room in a great venue. Summerhall has this really distinctive feeling. Feels right at the heart of things.

Who or what are your inspirations?

Being constantly amazed by people just starting out, breaking rules I thought existed, and proving the rules weren’t there in the first place. Also, when it goes well, you’re there. When it doesn’t, you’re still there. Having to be there.

What is your secret to surviving the intense, fast pace of the fringe?

If it all gets a bit much, get on a train and go two stops in any direction for an hour or two. You don’t have to go far before you get to a place whatever’s doing your head in about the Fringe doesn’t seem that important. Also every time you fancy a bag of crisps eat a bag of salad instead. Also – this is honestly as simple as it sounds – get some sleep.

What are the future plans for your show?

The dream’s always for the show to meet as many people as possible in as many places as possible.

What is the best production you have seen this year – can be any genre, style, in any theatre or performance space?

I’ve seen a bunch of really great shows this year that weren’t what I’d normally go for… Celebration by Emergency Chorus, Thick Skin by Poor Michelle stand out as shows by brand new companies I thought were great in very different ways. Recent bigger stuff, Fatherland and The House of Bernada Alba at the Royal Exchange and Anatomy of a Suicide at the Royal Court.

Is there anything else you want to highlight about your show/ theatre company/ production?

Just that if you’re reading this and you haven’t seen it, you should come along.


Writer: Chris Thorpe

Director: Rachel Bagshaw

Producer: China Plate

Design: Madeleine Girling; Joshua Pharo (video & lighting); Melanie Wilson (composer/ sound design)

Cast: Hannah McPake

The Shape of the Pain plays Summerhall as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 from 2 – 26 August 2017. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.