Quick Q&A: Dreams of the Small Gods

Where and when: Summerhall (Demonstration Room), Summerhall Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1PL Wednesday 3rd – Sunday 28th August 2022 (not 15th, 22nd), 19:50

What it’s all about… Dreams of the Small Gods tells the story of the awakening of Wild Woman. Naked, unaware and unselfconscious, she explores her surroundings, more animal than human. Her growing consciousness attracts the attention of a creature from the spirit world, a primal deity who sparks her curiosity and compels her to transform. She changes her physicality, drawing power from the merging of animal, human and spirit self. Inspired by the timeless wisdom of faerie tales, mythology and ancient ritual, Dreams of the Small Gods is a blend of aerial circus, masked ritual and performance art.

You’ll like it if… You have an interest in mythology, folklore and the lives of animals and plants. This show is interesting especially for women of all ages. It’s also interesting for those who want to see circus presented in an unusual way, or who like masked theatre or theatre which focuses on the body and has no spoken words.

You should see it because… It offers the opportunity to share in deep connection with Earth and with body. This show is for anyone who wants to see circus presented in an aesthetic that deviates vastly from traditional expectations. The audience will take away a little piece of primal memory.

Anything else we should know…: Dreams of the Small Gods is a blend of aerial circus, masked ritual and performance art. This show is interesting especially for women of all ages and explores the awakening of Wild Woman. I hope the Audience share in the deep connection of this show.

Where to follow:
Twitter: @scissorkickco
Instagram: @ scissorkickco, @zinniao.circusart

Book here: https://festival.summerhall.co.uk/events/dreams-of-the-small-gods/

Quick Q&A: The Black Blues Brothers

Where and when: Assembly Rooms (Music Hall), 3rd-28th August (16:45)

What it’s all about… The show is an acrobatic tribute to the cult movie The Blues Brothers. Imagine Jake and Elwood, but as acrobats! In an elegant nightclub reminiscent of the Cotton Club, following the caprices of an extravagant vintage radio that plays rhythm ‘n’ blues music, the barman and servers transform into performers doing balancing acts, human pyramids, waving flags and acrobatics with fire. All the objects (seats, tables, coat racks, vases and even mirrors) become tools in breath-taking stunts within a constant audience engagement. The Black Blues Brothers is pure energy and fun!

You’ll like it if… We have done more than 700 dates all around the world and we saw a variety of different people coming to see the show. That’s because The Black Blues Brothers has something for everyone: the kids love the comedy; the adults enjoy the game between the movie and the acrobatic imageries; people interested in classic circus find a very high technical level, while the ones who prefer contemporary circus or theatre appreciate the rhythm and the mixture of disciplines. And everybody is amazed by the incredible acts!

You should see it because… Everybody should come and see the show because… everybody needs The Black Blues Brothers! Spectators pass an hour of entertainment with some of the greatest songs ever written. Every second the artists are doing something new and spectacular. The astonishment is the prevalent feeling, with the joy these Kenyan acrobats spread.

Anything else we should know…: We are thrilled to be back to the Fringe. After our first appearance in 2019, the show has improved and now we are confident that the 2022 version is more powerful than ever. During our world tour we have been in Australia (where The Black Blues Brothers was chosen as the best acrobatic theatre show) and we have the honour to participate in the Royal Variety Performance. But Edinburgh Fringe is always a great and unique emotion, and we want to share it with all the audience. Let’s dance all together!

Where to follow:
Facebook: @blackbluesbrothers
Instagram: @circoedintorni

Book here: https://assemblyfestival.com/whats-on/the-black-blues-brothers

Quick Q&A: Block’d Off

Where and when: Pleasance Courtyard (Upstairs), 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9TJ Wednesday 3rd–Monday 29th August 2022 (not 10th, 23rd), 15:10

What it’s all about… Block’d Off is about the experiences and lives of working-class people who find themselves stuck in the cycle of deprivation. This is when you are unable, because of your circumstances, to rise out of what you have unless major sacrifices are made by yourself or people around you, or you simply get lucky. That’s a brief way of putting it anyway, it is a complex issue.

You’ll like it if… You are anyone of any age who understands what Class is, and anyone who has an opinion on how class plays a role in our life. Whether you identify as any of the strands of working-class, or middle or upper-class, then you will be able to find something in this show.

You should see it because… Block’d off offers a new perspective and new information on working-class living. It is very easy to have media portrayals depict our idea of another group that is different from us and we have to take it upon ourselves to diversify that image with different opinions. I hope that the audiences of Edinburgh take away a new perspective on this important topic.

Anything else we should know…: Block’d Off is a one of a kind play. It is a one-woman show that sees the performer play over 20 different characters with slickness and truth, and at multiple stages embodying multiple characters at a time using physical storytelling. Whether you love or hate the messages it speaks, you will never see anything like it.

Where to follow:
Twitter: @blockdoffplay, @arrowwooden, @ElGordoTheatre, @thepleasance

Ticket link: https://www.pleasance.co.uk/event/blockd#overview

Review: The Woman Who Amuses Herself at Jack Studio Theatre

Given how famous the Mona Lisa is, it’s perhaps surprising that more people don’t know the story of its theft in 1911. And that’s a shame, because it’s a great story: Italian workman Vincenzo Peruggia (Tice Oakfield), troubled that Da Vinci’s painting resided in France and not in its creator’s homeland, took it from the Louvre with the intention of returning it to Italy. After keeping the painting in his apartment for over two years, he was finally caught when he contacted an Italian gallery owner and revealed the Mona Lisa‘s whereabouts. Peruggia spent a year in prison for the theft, but became a national hero as the painting toured Italy before being returned to the Louvre in 1913.

Photo credit: Davor @ The Ocular Creative

Victor Lodato’s 2011 play explores Peruggia’s motivations (to this day, it’s unclear if he was driven purely by patriotism or by a desire for financial reward) and his complex relationship with the Mona Lisa during the years he kept the painting in his home. Tice Oakfield’s Peruggia is instantly engaging as he addresses us directly; this is no practised criminal but a man driven by passion to do something even he can’t quite believe he’s actually capable of. And then having done it, he finds himself trapped and driven to the brink of madness – unable to give up the painting, but equally unable to live under the Mona Lisa’s calm, enigmatic gaze. Whether she’s on display or hidden away in a trunk, it’s clear that he constantly feels her presence and is fascinated and terrified in equal measure.

Peruggia’s response to the painting allows Lodato to expand his focus and allow other voices to offer their own perspectives on Da Vinci’s work. In all, there are ten characters in the play, and each of them is portrayed in Kate Bannister’s production by Tice Oakfield, who transforms before our eyes from Vincenzo Peruggia to artist Marcel Duchamps, to British critic Walter Pater, to a harried school teacher trying to get her kids to engage with art. By exploring these different viewpoints, Lodato invites the audience – at one point quite literally – to consider for ourselves this picture we’ve seen hundreds of times, and to ask anew just what it is about La Gioconda that provokes such passionate reactions in people from all walks of life.

Photo credit: Davor @ The Ocular Creative

Over the years we’ve come to expect good things from the in-house creative team at the Jack, and this latest offering is no exception. Peruggia’s humble origins are reflected in Karl Swinyard’s intimate attic apartment set, while video projections from Douglas Baker and sound design from Julian Starr enhance the narrative without distracting from Oakfield’s enthralling central performance. The result is an unassuming production that’s nevertheless quietly powerful – much like the painting that inspired it.

The Woman Who Amuses Herself continues at the Jack Studio Theatre until 23rd July.

Quick Q&A: Crash and Land

Where and when: Canal Café Theatre, Delamere Terrace, Little Venice, London W2 6NG. // 14th, 15th, 17th of July 2022

What it’s all about… Crash and Land follows Wendy, Nora, Gabrielle and Sasha, four flatmates living in London as they discover who they are in an ever-changing world.

It’s a story that explores the complexities of relationships, of family, of gender and sexuality.
It’s about love and being young and making mistakes, trying to find a way to accept yourself
no matter what.

You’ll like it if… You’re interested in: queer theatre, new writing, and stories about complicated love and loss.

You should see it because… Crash and Land is an exciting story that explores the complicated nature of relationships: friends, family, lovers. It’s an important and relevant story – showing us just how messy and confusing all these things can become.

It’s also the exciting debut of a young writer and debut actors – fresh out of training and ready to explore the world of London pub theatre. We’re very excited for you all to meet them!

Where to follow:
Twitter: @tapirlost
Instagram: @losttapirproductions
Facebook: @losttapirproductions

Book here: https://canalcafetheatre.com/our-shows/crashandland/