Emma Bentley recently graduated from LIPA and set up Joue le Genre theatre company with fellow graduate Camille Favre. To She or Not To She is Emma’s first play as a writer and for her theatre company. This blog series will chart her highs and lows and she prepares and puts on her show at the biggest open arts festival in the world.
We’re on the train. It was a little bit of a stressful morning. The director made it onto the train with 1 and half seconds to spare.
I packed my case this morning, our designer dropped the costumes off last night, my room is the tidiest it’s been since I moved in –I tidied it just in case any last minute people decide they can rent it (if anyone’s reading this and needs a room in Finchley Central drop us an email!). Everything been a little bit last minute.
I am sat next to my producer Leonie whom without which the next 4 weeks would be a terrifying mixture of press releases and half price hut and things that I have had a go at so far but to be honest really don’t understand. My director Holly is opposite me. With a suitcase which is too full (hence the lateness) BUT she’s brought a rain mac for each of us so I can’t complain. And finally we get to show the play we’ve made together to the world! And by the world, we mean EDINBURGH.
I said farewell to my housemates last night with a curry and a glass of fizz and my friends from the coffee shop where I work. They have been the people who have been there during the last 10 months through my annoying ‘I don’t think this section is working still” and the “I can’t write an entire play what have I done!”. But the script is finally finished, no more messing about with now, it’s been through about a gazillion drafts this far. Now we get to just do it and get out there, with our all team together. It is so exciting.
I am also nervous as fuuu-
I’ve never written a play before. I’ve never performed a solo show before. A mate said “It’s going to be a baptism of fire.” And I’ve somehow managed to wangle a space at Pleasance Courtyard so it better be good as well.
For the last month I have been to Buxton, Exeter and London doing work in progress shows and previews. People have laughed. People have not laughed…At all, which was pretty terrifying. But people have also got a bit teary which is also good. (Hopefully because it was poignant not bad.)
I’ve also met a whole load of wonderful people who I’ll be sharing Edinburgh with. The team at Pleasance are all lovely, and I’m not even just saying that so they’ll send my press releases out and tweet about my show. And TEAM To She or Not to She are living with TEAM Labels, Worklight theatre’s new solo show also on at Pleasance Courtyard Bunker One 12.35pm (notice my clever cross marketing here). It’s going to be a whirlwind of solo show life all contained in our probably quite small flat (we’ve only seen pictures so far). Two solo shows, both alike in dignity, in fair Edinburgh, where we lay our scene from ancient box office break to new publicity, where chips and cheese makes flyering hands unclean.
We’re staying at our director’s Auntie’s this weekend who’s going to feed us and give us somewhere to rest our heads. Then into Edinburgh tomorrow to meet the team at Feminist Fest and then straight into our Tech rehearsal.
I’ll be giving you the latest from our show, our flat, our lives (all the carefully selected most interesting/cringey/hilarious bits of course). Of course you can also follow the exploits on Twitter @tosheornottoshe.
Edfringe To She or Not to She is coming atcha.
To She or Not to She plays daily at The Pleasance Courtyard at 1pm