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January 2018

Fringe theatre interview: Playwright Lucy Foster on her new play Lobster and writing comedy

Lucy Foster's new play Lobster opens this week at Theatre503, here she talks about the play and writing comedy.

Tell us about Lobster - no spoilers please

Lobster opens at a party in January, where a bubbly and bright J is introduced to a hungover K. The only problem being: these two Lobster500only just broke up a few months before. As J and K run through their relationship we see the love and heartbreak of these two women, who are trying so hard to love each other - and realising that love isn't always enough. 

I imagine that writing comedy is no joke - just how challenging is it? 

For years I didn't touch comedy as it really scared me. I think when you're sat alone at your laptop it's so hard to know if something is actually funny. It's only been in the last few years that I have started putting humour into my work, and realising - oh, this works! I often find that the funniest lines come straight from real life - in the same way that you'll laugh the hardest with your friends, the best comedy is completely relatable. 

What I've found to be the most important thing about writing comedy into my plays is finding the balance between the funny and the dramatic. My favourite plays are ones that really contrast that light and dark, as the heartbreak is always sadder when it's set against the humour of the characters. I'm hoping I've been able to do the same with Lobster. 

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Review: Blood and audience gasps in Julius Caesar, Barbican Theatre

Julius Caesar_ 2017_ the conspirators kill Caesar_2017_Photo by Helen Maybanks _c_ RSC_214266
RSC's Julius Caesar 2017: Photo by Helen Maybanks (c) RSC

Bloody Julius Caesar. Not only does he gets ideas above his station and meet with a messy end but his murderers decide to wear his blood like a face mask, as if they weren't smeared and splattered enough. 

However, it wasn't the sight of the red stuff in this RSC production that earned a collective gasp from the audience it was another death, bloodless but with a realistic snapping sound effect that had more than a few hands over mouths.

Who met with this end? Well that was, I suspect, a big contributing factor in the response but I won't spoil it.

Julius Caesar is a brutal play not just in the violence but in the questions of loyalty and justice.

The writing is on the wall in the opening scene where a celebratory mob are criticised for their fickleness having changed allegiance to Julius Caesar when he is victorious.

Brutus (Alex Waldmann) has the people behind him after his rational speech explaining the reasons for the murder but it is Mark Antony (James Corrigan) who really knows how to work the crowd.

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Fringe theatre interview: Alice in Wonderland reimagined for the #metoo landscape

Alice three trees theatreJonna Blode Hanno, Laura Thomasina Haynes and Mollie Macpherson from Three Trees Theatre talk about the inspiration and process behind their new play Alice which opens at the Landor Space in Clapham on January 9.

How would you describe the piece?
It's a devised piece inspired by Alice in Wonderland, focusing on Alice's journey into the confusing and somewhat absurd world of adulthood. The piece deals with controversial rumours about Lewis Carroll's relationship with Alice Liddell, for whom he wrote the book, but set in our time of #metoo and countless testaments of sexual abuse. 

Why Alice in Wonderland?
Alice in Wonderland is such an iconic story, but after reading it we were most fascinated by the darkness in it, and Lewis Carroll's unique perspective on the world of adulthood. When the Weinstein scandal came out and #metoo started shaking the world we felt we had to join the discussion around responsibility and power in our own industry as so much of the controversy around Lewis Carroll is still so relevant.

Tell us about the process?
We cast everyone as different characters from the book but then examined what that creature could symbolise in our world today instead of having a literal portrayal. For example, we do not have the White Rabbit sat at Lewis Caroll's dinner table but instead take inspiration from the essence of his character.  Led by our director Or Benezra-Segal we worked as a company to devise a play based on who these people are and where we thought the night would take them.

 

 

Continue reading "Fringe theatre interview: Alice in Wonderland reimagined for the #metoo landscape" »