Theatre Paradok's adaption of Mrs Dalloway explores our near-constant use of technology to convey our thoughts, feelings and interests while we interact with others.
Our adaptation of Mrs Dalloway started with an idea to explore the ways in which we stream our stream of consciousness through our phones and computers; how we reveal much more of ourselves in the semi-shared world of the internet than in our personal interactions
Tell us about your show
This year, our Edinburgh Fringe show is to be Mrs Dalloway, adapted and directed by Ellen Harris. This contemporary take on the classic novel explores the private consciousness we stream through our phones and computers as we interact. As the characters talk, trail-off to check a text, and half-listen to each other, the audience is privy to what they are distracted by: Facebook stalking, weird YouTube videos, choosing a filter, and the rest. This multimedia production has a fantastic cast and crew and is set to be very exciting.
Why did you decide to take your show to Space UK this year?
Theatre Paradok have a long-standing relationship with Space UK and have enjoyed putting on fringe productions with them for many years. Surgeons Hall is a beautiful venue right at the heart of Edinburgh’s cultural scene and we are thrilled to have it as our space this year. Another benefit of working with Space UK is the countless relationships that have been forged with myriad performers who are sharing the venue.
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s festival?
Theatre Paradok are excited to be surrounded by like minded companies who share our passion for the experimental and innovative theatre on an international platform.
We’re looking forward the new multimedia direction of this production in particular, and its engagement with themes of technology so pervasive in our lives.
Apart from this, we take advantage of all the other shows at the Space, seeing Alisdair Gray’s Lanark come to life at the Lyceum, and seeing Sylvie Guillem dance at the Edinburgh International Festival!
Why Edinburgh? What’s the attraction?
Edinburgh is Theatre Paradok’s home - and it’s great to have the world’s best arts festival on our doorsteps and the festival celebrates everything that we attempt to exude in our work here all year round.
Edinburgh is a beautiful place with a great sense of drama that we’re very passionate about and proud to be based in.
Have you brought a show to the festival before?
Yes! This will be Paradok’s eleventh show at the Edinburgh Fringe, highlights including The Really Big Diamond in 2014, and Conference of the Birds in 2011, and we hope to continue for many years to come.
What makes your show unique amongst the thousands of others at the festival?
This show is unique in its bringing a literary classic and old favourite and reimagining it in 21st century.
What has been the biggest challenge in getting your show ready for Edinburgh?
The biggest challenge is establishing that we have to use the experience as a huge learning curve, making the transition from student productions to ensuring that everything we produce is up to the highest professional standard.
How did you create your show?
Our adaptation of Mrs Dalloway started with an idea to explore the ways in which we stream our stream of consciousness through our phones and computers; how we reveal much more of ourselves in the semi-shared world of the internet than in our personal interactions, how we can be conversing with one person whilst pursuing countless other conversations and thought processes through our devices. According to Theatre Paradok's long-held ethos, we have developed this idea collaboratively and inclusively, with input from actors, production team, and an Artistic Director driving the multi-media elements. In the process, we have focused on the ways our concept can help us tell the story of these characters in a way that remains truly powerful and human.
Can you tell us a bit about your company’s background?
We are the University of Edinburgh’s alternative theatre company, aiming to put on theatre that is more risky and experimental, but nonetheless with a commitment to inclusiveness. Since our conception in 2004, Paradok have performed in venues all over Edinburgh, often in places you wouldn’t expect to see theatre, and expanded greatly, encompassing an ever-growing team of actors, directors, costume-makers, make-up artists, set-designers, artists, musicians, technicians and everything in between. We thrive off the challenging and exciting, and produce theatre that’s immersive and collaborative.
If your show does well in Edinburgh, what do you want to do next?
Have a large drink, and then another.
Show Name: Mrs Dalloway
Production Company: Theatre Paradok
Venue: The Space @ Surgeons Hall Theatre 2
Dates: 25th-29th August
Twitter Handle: @theatreparadok