To find out more about Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 and the spotlights, please see the introductory article.
Next up in our Spotlight feature is Home, which plays Edinburgh Festival from 21 – 28 August 2017. I caught up with actor Amber Onat Gregory:
Describe your show in three words.
Multi-sensory, Post-apocalyptic, Interactive.
Is this your first Edinburgh Fringe performance experience?
We came to the Fringe last year for four days with our show THE FOREST for audiences with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities. This year we are back for double that, and already sold out! Last year was the first time there had been a show specifically for people with PMLD performed at the fringe. It was hugely successful and we sold out in record time with more demand from audiences than we could meet.
Who else are you most looking forward to seeing while at the Fringe?
We are really excited to catch the new Tourette’s Hero show, Not I – Jess Thom is such an amazing advocate for accessibility in theatre and we really support that.
How do you feel to be performing at Pleasance Courtyard?
We are very excited to be performing at The Pleasance again this year. Last year when we brought The Forest to the Fringe it was the first year that all The Pleasance’s spaces had been accessible for wheelchair users and that will be the same this year, so we are really pleased to be able to team up with such an accessible venue.
Who or what are your inspirations?
I always find we pull great inspiration from our audiences. We make multi-sensory theatre for audiences with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD) so their needs are at the heart of everything we create. There is a massive lack of provision for people with PMLD and we want to help fill that gap and provide people with PMLD with a piece of entertaining theatre that is designed to meet their needs.
What is your secret to surviving the intense, fast pace of the fringe?
Get involved! We are only there for 8 days so it isn’t quite as intense for us as for those people who are there for the month. But we have found that we love to just catch up with as many people as we can and see a lot of amazing shows.
What are the future plans for your show?
We have done the Fringe backwards this year as HOME has already toured quite extensively and the Fringe run will take us to show 150 of HOME. We’re thrilled to be a part of the British Council showcase this year so hopefully there may be an international future for HOME… In September, we will go into development for our next show, so we are really looking forward to that and hope that all the shows we see at Edinburgh will provide us with inspiration and enthusiasm for that process to begin.
What is the best production you have seen this year – can be any genre, style, in any theatre or performance space?
We were on tour from January – June this year and the annoying thing about touring is that you never get time to see other people’s theatre! When we were touring to Leicester we did manage to catch Wonder Woman – The Naked Truth by Not Now Collective, which was a funny yet touching piece about being a parent in the arts (which is something Frozen Light can relate to having seven young children between our cast of four). Also when back in Norwich I caught fellow Norwich theatre company Limbik Theatre’s thought-provoking speculative fiction piece The Forecast which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Is there anything else you want to highlight about your show/ theatre company/ production?
HOME is a multi-sensory production for teenage and adult audiences with PMLD, which includes live original music, sign and one to one interaction. Frozen Light are specialists in multi-sensory theatre.
Writer/ Producer: Frozen Light
Director: Kate O’Connor
Design: Stephanie Williams; Dave Sherman (lighting); Kirsteen Wythe (costume)
Cast: Amber Onat Gregory, Lucy Garland, Al Watts
Home plays Pleasance Courtyard as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 from 21 – 28 August 2017. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.