10 August 2016

EIF 2016 - The Glass Menagerie

Today's show is the American theatre classic The Glass Menagerie. There was a bit of a mishap walking from our meeting place at The Hub down to King's Theatre, but most of us slid in right as the house lights dimmed. The rest had to watch from the upper circle until the interval, when they could join the rest of us in the stalls.

We took to a surprisingly raucous uproar when someone in the audience whispered loudly "You know who she reminds me of? My mother." as Amanda Wingfield exited a very dramatic scene. Our entire surrounding section burst into giggles until someone whispered for us to "shut up"!

A lot of strong opinions were heard from everyone as we made our way down to the front for the post-show talk with the director. You may know John Tiffany from his slightly more famous production of the new Harry Potter play in London. He talked to us about his decision to abandon medicine to study theatre, and about some of the unusual use of settings and props for this show. Laura, for example, enters and leaves the stage through a sofa.

(Yes, a sofa.)

The jury agreed that the show was pretty bleak. There were a lot of feelings about the aborted romance between Jim and Laura, which had probably frustrated audiences since the play premiered in 1944. The more things change, etc.

To follow our adventures during the 2016 Edinburgh International Festival, check out more at our Instagram @JuryassicPark.

EIF 2016 - First show at The Lyceum: The Destroyed Room

Tonight was our official first show as the jury of the EIF! After a brief meeting at The Hub,we walked down to the 8pm showing of The Destroyed Room at The Lyceum.

Before the show began! We enjoyed the posh theatre decor

We were invited upstairs after the performance to meet Matthew and Sarah, the director and assistant director of the show. We had a few questions for them, especially about the scripted vs. improvised staging of the show.

From the festival website -
"The Destroyed Room is about the profusion of lenses that bring the world and the pain of others right into our rooms, but also keep them at a distance. It’s about what we see and what we turn away from. And what’s coming."
Reflections about the show from Nicole, one of our jurors -
"If you want to see a show that makes you think and gain opinions about controversial issues, The Destroyed Room is the show for you. At first it began with an easy almost funny question which slowly developed into deeper conversation.

All though our group came to the conclusion that it was scripted to some extent however, none of us could tell the exact point in which it started.

The show made me think and develop my own opinions that I have about issues surrounding terrorists and the refugee crisis, it showed just how away from it we all are but highlighted how involved we all are through the media.  

It made me ask myself questions about how moral it is to watch videos of people suffering and if people should decide to not see the things they do in the media...such as beheading videos or pictures of refugees on the boats.

The only emotion that I can say I had fully by the end was helplessness. These are big issues that are happening in the world and there we all were in the theatre just watching like it was a film."

Post-show thoughts from Emma: 
"Destroyed Room was a gripping production that often made me want to join in the conversation. I spent most of the time either wanting to interject my opinion or intervene and stop the on-stage conflicts. Overall, I didn’t enjoy the show too much as I felt the conversation was sometimes a bit forced and obviously scripted; however, I did like the rather ambiguous ending which was reminiscent of a sci-fi film. It was left up to the audience to decide what the man in the white hazmat suit was doing and what his purpose was."

Matthew Lenton and Sarah Short. We asked Matthew if the actors were given "characters" to improvise from. The answer is ambiguous...
Everyone listening
Everything is ambiguous
More listening
To the left is Barnaby Power, one of the actors. Beside him is Eva, our artistic director trying to get a good shot in.
Popups make it all official, as we know

To follow our adventures during the 2016 Edinburgh International Festival, check out more at our Instagram @JuryassicPark.