I spent a busy three days with the Lyceum Theatre directing a “theatrical exploration” as part of a partnership with the Edinburgh International Festival - Playing With Books.
Playwrights had been paired up with authors to create adaptations of recently published books. I was working with Stef Smith on Amy Liptrot’s memoir, The Outrun. Nature and too-muchness. Territory I love exploring.
Stef had produced a great response to Amy’s book in a 30 or so page script. It remained utterly recognisable to the book but also created imagined conversations and presented completely different perspectives on the feelings explored in the memoir.
Frances Thorburn and John Kielty powered through the three days of rehearsal/experimentation, playful, smart and craziy skilled musically.
I enjoyed working with Cat Reilly, awesome human being and DJ, who joined us to score the piece. I was interested in how the registers of dance music can be felt in our bodies. Tremors. I’m learning that I really love working with someone who speaks a different creative “language”. You can’t get away with bullshit and it opens up so many more possibilities to explore. Working with people who don’t come from a theatre background also helps me to focus on my own skills and recognise the value I offer the partnership too.
The actual event was sold out months in advance. There was lots of interest in Amy’s story and the audience who joined us to see what we were working on clearly had a lot of love for the book – and now also any potential theatrical adaptation!
The whole Playing With Books project was a right cracker and I enjoyed seeing how the different teams approached the different texts. It was my first contact with the Edinburgh International Book Festival and I think it may have spoiled all other festivals taking place in August for me. That place is serene but vibrant and oh my word, dude, if only my life was an Authors’ Yurt.
All Edinburgh Theatre wrote a write up of the event as part of the opening celebrations of the festival.