This year, we are following three theatre companies as they work their way towards the Fringe: Welsh dance company Light, Ladd & Pemberton whose show CAITLIN is about Dylan Thomas’s wife, Edinburgh’s Orange Girl Productions who revisit the Restoration in Nell Gwyn: An Epilogue, and student group Z Theatre Company from Hull who have written several new shows. Last month was all about finding accommodation and revising scripts, so what have they been up to since? Find out in this month’s Fringe Diary…
Laura Ingram, Writer & Producer, Nell Gwyn: An Epilogue
Not much has progressed on the surface since our last diary entry, but there have been plenty of rumblings underneath. My production style is a little bit ‘feast or famine’, with things simmering in my subconscious for a while, then suddenly boiling over in a burst of deadline-fuelled activity!
The most significant box that has been ticked lately is that our tickets have now gone on sale at the Fringe Box Office. It suddenly seems very real! All the plans detailed in our last entry (press copy, poster/trailer completion, early rehearsal, etc) are still in the pipeline, but the most time-consuming aspect of production at the moment is proving to be the script. The initial changes agreed with Andy, our director, have grown several arms and legs, as I’ve been streamlining some aspects and discovering larger structural problems as I go. These changes are all to the good, and I’m certainly not getting scissor-happy; I think having a few months away from the script has allowed me to see the wood for the trees!
Next up: get the final script to Lucy, our brilliant actress, and hope she doesn’t blanch at the number of changes! When she comes up to Edinburgh in June, we’ll work on learning these together. In the meantime, I need to start sourcing all the new props that have ‘appeared’ in the script – starting with recipes for 17th-Century sweetmeats. Yum!
Follow them on Twitter @OrangeGirlProd
Laura Drane, Producer, CAITLIN
What’s new since last we wrote? We’ve marked the first ever International Dylan Thomas Day (14 May) and wondered if Caitlin deserves one too. Watch out for promo/social media stuff on 31 July, the date of Caitlin’s death.
I had a very helpful conversation with the Fringe media office about press release and strategies, and we’ve got a really tightly targeted list of press, media, industry promoters, venues and festivals to approach with info on the show, as well as comps where appropriate. Though you can imagine the nightmare with comps given we only have 20 seats in every performance!
The biggest relief is that we now all have travel and accommodation booked! Except for the not-yet-born-baby of the director, who has to be added post-partum (things I never thought I’d need to know as a producer #146).
We had a frankly hilarious team meeting last Thursday evening about consumables for the show. What’s the best gsm for sheets of A4 paper that need to be chewed up? What title book does Dylan read in the show? What colour of IKEA plastic cups did we settle on? And how many bonbons do we need to buy from the sweetie shop in town and can we get the guy to count them out or should we just guess the number in any given weight in grams? We’ve got most of our chairs sorted, but can the supplier deliver 20 more in a certain shade of grey and for what price? All will be revealed as to why we need these and how they get used in the show…
In the meantime, our director really has had to put her feet up now and wait for the little ’un to show up, so everything else for rehearsal, production, marketing, previews and more is now just down to me, the two dancers, and the guy who live mixes the soundtrack for every show.
Hoping our next instalment might be accompanied with a cute photo of a newborn. We even suggested she might call her Caitlin…
Follow them on Twitter @caitlinedfringe
Joanna Morley and Carys Tavener, Company Managers, Z Theatre Company
This month Z Theatre Company has been focusing its attention on fundraising. As we are made up of university students, all of our activities have been running alongside our academic deadlines and practices, which has made us very busy. One of our fundraising events was Z’s Bae for a Day + Bag a Bloke in which members of our company were auctioned off in a lively, hectic room of bidders in order to be ‘owned’ for a day by their buyers. Company members strutted up a makeshift catwalk, whilst the host described their most embarrassing or amusing features. The highlight of the evening had to be one of our writers stripping down to his girlfriend’s bikini to impress the bidders! (Check out our twitter page for evidence!) Last year one of our Zeddies was bought for £60 and was instructed to carry their buyer around Edinburgh from show to show, as she refused to have her feet touch the floor for the entire day!
Another of our fundraising events was Z Rugby 6 Nations, in which most of our department played for random global teams; but a shout ‘oot’ to Scotland for their undying passion, and lucky mascot the black pudding that received a kiss off every player before each match! We’ve had plenty more exciting events, such as a second Open Mic Night, and weekly cake sales in our university union and we’re feeling closer to Edinburgh than ever.
Follow them on Twitter @ZTheatreCompany