Broadway Baby has a chat with Georgia Harris, creative director of Tripped Theatre Company. This year they will be taking on Shakespeare's bloodiest play with an updated script.
Titus Andronicus is not often performed, and spent a long time out of favour with the critics for its clumsy plot and unfathomable characters. However, by gender swapping and introducing more female characters into the cast, the show becomes much more dynamic and relatable.
Tell us about your show
Titus Andronicus is known for being Shakespeare's most violent revenge tragedy, and pushes the boundaries of taboo even for modern theatre. Tripped Theatre are bringing a stripped back, up-to-date version of the script and relating the performance to the more topical issues of homophobia and celebrity culture. The glamorous and deliciously filthy production is delightful and diabolical at the same time, and with the whole show being performed in monochrome, you'll leave the theatre knowing that no villain is simply black and white.
Why did you decide to take your show to Space UK this year?
We were in a Space UK venue for the first time last year, with A Midsummer Night's Dream, and we found the staff so accommodating and helpful, as well as being really reasonably priced for the quality of venue. This year we had a bigger idea and wanted a bigger venue, so I immediately rang Charles Pamment and asked what was available for Titus, and he offered us theSpace @ Venue 45 - a beautiful space that's famed for fantastic theatre and one I personally find incredibly exciting. The Space are a wonderful team and it is a delight to work with them especially as a young company of artists who are slowly finding our feet in the festival game.
Why Edinburgh? What’s the attraction?
Edinburgh is such an exciting opportunity for young artists to start finding their way and exploring their potential in the theatre industry. I love the festival as a way to put on and sell a show that feels entirely our own, and exchange ideas with other artists from all over the world. The atmosphere of the festival is fantastic and so beautifully diverse, yet everyone performing shares the feeling that they've worked hard to be there and are proud to have created something to perform and enjoy for the thousands of visitors that could walk through your door.
What makes your show unique amongst the thousands of others at the festival?
Titus Andronicus is not often performed, and spent a long time out of favour with the critics for its clumsy plot and unfathomable characters. However, by gender swapping and introducing more female characters into the cast, the show becomes much more dynamic and relatable. Titus is an unwilling celebrity, damaged from war and thrust into his nation's spotlight, before spiralling into madness caused by his insatiable hunger for revenge. Equally, in our production, his daughter, Lavinia, is being played by a male actor, which introduces really challenging questions about the paternal relationship, and the shame Titus feels about Lavinia's relationship with the Emperor's son, Bassanius, and the terrible events that befall Lavinia throughout the show.
What has been the biggest challenge in getting your show ready for Edinburgh?
The biggest challenge at the moment is getting the cast and team in one place at the same time, what with us all living in different places! We're working on it well though and we're all so excited about the show that it's a challenge we'll overcome more easily as time passes. Once the real buzz of the build up to the Fringe starts, we'll be raring to go.
Can you tell us a bit about your company’s background?
Tripped Theatre started in late 2012 when a group of us decided we wanted to take a show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, with absolutely no idea of how to go about it. We're all from the University of York, and started working together as students. Most of us have now graduated and are scattered around the country, but we keep ties to the University's drama societies and like to keep students who are interested in working with us as involved as possible. This is the first year we'll be visiting the Fringe having graduated, so it'll be nice to get the gang back together to perform such an exciting show as we believe Titus will be.
Venue: theSpace @ Venue 45
Dates: 13th - 15th August, 17th - 22nd August
Times: 22:10 - 23:05