With over 3000 shows at the world’s biggest arts festival, here at The ReviewsHubwe want to make the job of choosing your Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows that little bit easier. So here’s Jonathan Holloway of A Tale Of Two Cities: Blood For Blood answering our annual Five Fast Fringe Questions.
In one sentence tell us about your show.
A big stage and a sea of unoccupied empty chairs arranged on a precise geometric grid provide the location for a beautiful and disturbing contemporary noir take on Dickens’ classic re-imagined as a tribute the resilience and bravery of ordinary people who find themselves in caught up and carried forward by history through no choice of their own.
What made you decide to bring a show this year?
We offer a big serious show offering spectacle, a totally unexpected approach to ‘classic adaptation’, on a big stage, with a big(ish) professional cast, with original music and spectacular design. In some ways it’s a counterpoint to the wonderful, but inevitably small-scale work that defines most fringe theatre offerings. I wanted to come back to the Fringe with something unusual that’s visually exquisite, epic in scale and vibrates with big emotions.Our co-producing partner in Hong Kong, Chung Ying Theatre Company, wants to develop its international profile, and we hope we’ve made a show that can contribute to that.
Any advice you’ve heard or can give to anyone coming to the Fringe for the first time?
Don’t treat it as an audition, do work that has intrinsic value and matters to you. The Fringe has the ability to sniff out artificiality and self-regard. Don’t be knocked off course by criticism, stick to your guns, don’t be side-tracked. Tell the story.
What makes your show stand out from all of the others on offer?
Our show brings together the skills of many incredibly experienced artists. This production has little to prove beyond a sharp-elbowed need to find an audience. It has been made with love, and exists to be enjoyed. It protests against privilege and stands as witness to the right brain’s ability to give contour and excitement to existence – the things which are terrible and beautiful, and which define our humanity. It is delivered by a company with sensibilities that span traditional theatre making and contemporary live art.
What show, other than your own, do you not want to miss?
I really want to see Annie Siddons’ How Not To Live In Suburbia. I saw it in development at Camden Peoples Theatre and liked its honesty and winning qualities and it involves people I know and trust, Nicki Hobday (who is working with us) and live artist Richard DeDominici.
Finally, the boring but essential bit…
Name of the show: A Tale of Two Cities: Blood for Blood
Venue: Pleasance Courtyard (Beyond)
Dates: 3 – 28 August 2016 (not 10, 17, 24)