Gritty Theatre lives up to its name, bringing Bones to Edinburgh this year. Bones tells the story of Mark; let down by society or a let down to society?
The story is a poignant, emotionally charged monologue about a young man trying to find his place in a world that doesn’t want him. Mark’s tale will chew you up, spit you out, and then make you wonder why you cared in the first place.
Tell us about your show
The show tells of Mark, a 19 year old whose life is already on the rocks. He hasn’t had the greatest start in life, and doesn’t have a role model. The relationship between him and his mom is completely dysfunctional, indeed he appears to be the sole carer for both his mother and baby sister. At the start of the piece he appears aggressive, self-centered and arrogant, and audiences may judge him negatively on this initially, but will gradually realise why he has become the person that he is. The story is a poignant, emotionally charged monologue about a young man trying to find his place in a world that doesn’t want him. Mark’s tale will chew you up, spit you out, and then make you wonder why you cared in the first place.
Why did you decide to take your show to Space UK this year?
Being a newly formed company and coming to the fringe for the first time, Space UK offered us a friendly, supportive and inviting environment for Gritty Theatre. A fledgling company needs nurturing and Space UK has been brilliant at doing this, as well as offering us a great network in which we can connect with other companies.
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s festival?
To be back in the vibrant scene of the Edinburgh Fringe, but this time as a participant.
Why Edinburgh? What’s the attraction?
Edinburgh is a great place to be! You can get everywhere on foot and no-one seems to judge whatever is going on around you on the streets! The city is full of new exciting companies as well as old established companies, which means it’s a great place to perform and to network. The Fringe is full of a variety of shows and it’s great to be a part of it.
What makes your show unique amongst the thousands of others at the festival?
No gimmicks. No false advertising. No “jiggery pokery”. Just honest story telling that might make audience uncomfortable to begin with, but will allow them to leave the theatre wanting to make the world a better place.
What has been the biggest challenge in getting your show ready for Edinburgh?
There have been no challenges. It has been a joy from start to finish!
Have you been to other venues at the festival?
As audience members, there are probably very few venues that not one of us has been to.
How did you create your show?
Using a minimalistic set, we have found creative and alternative ways of telling the story of Mark. The combination of puppetry and physical theatre allows the audience to float between the present and Mark’s past.
What’s the main thing you want to get out of the festival this year?
Being a new company we hope to achieve attention from the media promoting our ethos. We also plan to network with other companies and investors so we can continue to create work that speaks to those who are not stereotypical theatre goers.
Can you tell us a bit about your company’s background?
Gritty Theatre is a young company, founded by an actor and director who share a love creating work that speaks how they feel. We bring theatre and workshops to local communities, and to those who have been deprived of theatre experiences. The performances are of drama that our communities want to see; they aim to fulfill a need to access entertainment locally, and also to offer deeper levels of involvement. The dramas we perform are not seen by the masses, and reflect issues that our communities face either growing up or in later life. Our workshops offer a non-academic way of exploring social issues, educating those who don’t understand, and making those who are going through them feel safe.
If your show does well in Edinburgh, what do you want to do with it next?
Bones will be performed in Birmingham on the 19th and 20th of August. If the show goes well in Edinburgh the plan is to take it to other areas around the UK, as the piece deserves a larger audience. We want to share Mark’s story with others in communities that do not usually access theatre.
Show Name: Bones
Production Company: Gritty Theatre
Venue: 45, Jurys Inn
Dates: 7th -15th August (not 9th)
Twitter Handle: @grittytheatre