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Thread Theatre talk to us about The Dolphin Hotel: a show tackling the subject of sex trafficking while remaining funny and thought provoking.

With 140,000 victims of human trafficking in Europe at any time, most of them women, we wanted to give female exploitation a voice.

Tell us about your show

The Dolphin Hotel is a new play telling the story of a young Hungarian sex worker, Betty, and eccentric client Eric. It is darkly comedic and uses physical theatre to unpack its heavier themes. With 140,000 victims of human trafficking in Europe at any time, most of them women, we wanted to give female exploitation a voice. Eric isn’t a bad person, he represents an ignorance and naivety towards exploitation which I think we all share. 1 in 10 British men admit to visiting prostitutes and yet it may not occur to them that the girl doesn’t want to be there and that she may be one of the 4000 women and children currently sex trafficked in the UK.

Why did you decide to take your show to Space UK this year?

We brought a show to the Space last year and loved it. Everything is so professionally run and the staff is lovely. We also are excited to be in Jury’s Inn, a venue partially funded by Arts Council to allow new writing to take place at the Fringe, it seemed a very appropriate venue for our piece.

Why Edinburgh? What’s the attraction?

There is nothing else like it; it’s bizarre, brilliant, terrifying and exhilarating. So much to see and do. It’s a great opportunity to find people who really respond and engage with each other’s work.

What makes your show unique amongst the thousands of others at the festival?

There are a lot of dolphins featured, which is pretty unusual and some Hungarian singing. Also I think we handle an extremely difficult subject in a new way. Although a lot of the themes and material are very heavy, the play is still very funny and engages with big issues without dictating to the audience what you should think. We are also currently talking to the charity Stop the Traffikand hope to collaborate with them on the show; the plan is to have collection buckets available at the end of each performance for audience members to make a donation if they wish. Through doing this, we’re not only bringing the issue to the attention of the audience, we’re giving them the chance to do something about it. From our experience, not a lot of shows addressing these kind of subjects lead to anything, we wanted to be different in that aspect.

11. Can you tell us a bit about your company’s background?

Founded by Loughborough University graduates, we focus on new writing and bold unexpected takes on classic plays.

If your show does well in Edinburgh, what do you want to do with it next?

We’d love to take the show on tour, and ideally end up in a situation where producing theatre is financially viable for us all as a career. Throughout the past year we have put on shows in the Northwest, where we’re based, but we still aren’t in a position to do this full time - that’s the dream.

Production Company: Thread Theatre

Venue: Jurys Inn, theSpace (Venue 260)

Dates: Aug 17-22, 24-29

Times: 18:05 (50mins)

Twitter Handle: @ThreadTheatreCo


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