project created by UNTitled Theatre, project category Theatre
‘Smile and dance and move the moving hands of yours that know to search my softer deeper spots. You, skilfully, begin to join the dots.’
He is an ageing artist. She is a young prostitute. What starts as a drunken exchange of paid-for fantasy turns into a lilting, lusting love-story. But when decay sets in, things begin to change and their life together plunges into troubled water.
‘I am the aftermath before the after.
A breath after disaster.’
Switching between lyrical, swaying verse and terse dialogue, Beast is part play, part poem.
The show mixes intimate live performances and voice -overs with a haunting soundscape and evocative film to create the passionate and vulnerable internal world of two lovers.
UNTitled are producing the London Premier of Beast at The White Bear Theatre, London after receiving rave reviews in Edinburgh and Ireland. We need to raise £2000 to develop, rehearse and stage the production for a 3 week run from 29th May-17th June 2012.
It will be directed by Natasha Pryce, (Airswimming-Istanbul Theatre Festival, Who Will Carry The Word-Courtyard Theatre) designed by Alistair Turner (Ordinary Days-Trafalgar Studios, The Diary of a Nobody- Drill Hall, Airswimming -Garajistanbul Istanbul International Theatre Festival 2010, The 24 Hour Plays Celebrity Gala-Old Vic) with movement direction from Jennifer Malarkey (‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Picnic, Gormenghast, On the Razzle, Othello-all at The Sheridon Theatre).
Award winning playwright Elena Bolster is the founder of arts company Bookshelf and last year was selected for the new playwright scheme at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin.
UNTitled is a new company currently being supported by IdeasTap, Jonathan Holloway (Director) and Robert Jones (Designer). We make theatre that ‘cuts through’ in a world saturated by television, advertising and online entertainment. We balance a distinct visual style with powerful and engaging narratives, creating magical worlds and telling bold stories. We want to be affecting, inspiring and surprising. We want to lead you down dark corridors, tell you stories in cupboards, lead you into a dance and have you immersed in a visceral and captivating story-journey. We want you complicit as the story unfolds.
‘I was utterly captivated by Beast. Forget the title, this is a love story, much in phenomenal and lilting Irish verse. It tells the slow, awful story of an affair between an elderly artist (Grahame Edwards) and a young prostitute (a terrific Aine O’Sullivan). The dialogue and the verse, vulnerable and beautiful, segue perfectly, in between footage behind from a flickering Super 8 of the strangest images of life – fish swarming, docks clanking – and you concentrate, and fall in love with the language and its power, and are left, as so often with love itself, bereft. Writer-director Elena Bolster lost the whole thing on a stolen laptop three years ago: I cheer that she redid it from the start. By the end, there were tears going on near me.’ Euan Ferguson. The Observer
An artist and a whore. They meet by chance, each becoming besotted with the other in a fashion they are not expecting and are unprepared to experience. He is older and cynical, captivated by the contradictions of her youth and grave pragmatism; she is young but no less weary of the world and finds herself swept up in a whirlwind of the directions he turns her heart towards. She chooses to stay with him and a beautiful bond of flesh and feeling grows between the two.
Portrayed in a variety of media and style, Beast manages to take the sharpest pieces of each, blending and honing them to a pointed and cutting edge that slices straight to the heart’s deepest wells. The actors are as perfect in the roles as could be imagined, Grahame Edwards is resplendently elegant as Egon, proper but with a shabby carelessness that belies his artistic temperament. Aine O’Sullivan’s Valie is a starkly contrasting figure, lithe yet forceful, with even her doughy Irish lilt clashing with his clipped eloquence, the antithesis to his world.
Theatrical verse can be a difficult creature to tame; when cleverly implemented it can elevate a story beyond the confines of the petty normality and everyday affability. Using a clever mixture of prose and verse, Elena Bolster’s provocative and moving script creates a twisting, lusty and breathless journey through the very heart of love, hate and need. Amongst a host of productions this year, Beast stands clear yards ahead of the throng, a moving and beautifully haunting piece of theatre that will break even the hardest of hearts. Graeme Strachan. British Theatre Guide
No posts yet.