Performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 2nd-17th August 2014, in the Vault Annexe, Merchant Street, Edinburgh.
New Writing by Laura Witz, National Loaf is a comedy about rationing in the Second World War. Set in a rationing office in a small Yorkshire town, National Loaf tells the story of one rather stressful day at the war office.
Tensions rise as the locals hear about the new National Loaf and the Head of Rationing comes to visit; all on the same day. As the butcher, the baker and the grocer (all now women due to the war) arrive to voice their opinions about the new bread and the Colonel is becoming more and more suspicious, it is down to Private Baker, the Captain’s enthusiastic assistant, to ensure her boss doesn’t get the sack and the ladies aren’t thrown in prison.
Performed, March 2014 in the Vault, Merchant Street, Edinburgh.
Adapted from Smiles and Tears or The Widow’s Stratagem, the early nineteenth century play by Marie Therese du Camp (an early member of the Kemble acting dynasty), The Gentleman’s Stratagem was an edited version of the original play which reversed the genders of the characters.
By switching the genders in this rather conventional Victorian comedy, we attempted to see the extent to which power dynamics and traditional gender relations worked when turned entirely on their head. The men were the objects of desire and the women, the pursuers in this production, the staging of which was focused on this gender switch.
Performed, November 2013 in the Vault, Merchant Street, Edinburgh.
New writing, Goblin’s Story is the story of some very strange characters in a very strange forrest. Goblin wants to be left in peace with his newspaper. Jabberwocky wants to find herself an adventure. And both of them, though they may not know it yet, want a friend. As these two disparate characters come together and try to fight off the evil that follows each of them, they are forced to confront their own demons as well as those in the forest. Inspired by the events of Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market, Goblin’s Story explores the plight of the villain in nineteenth century fantastical poetry.
Goblin’s Story was a winner of an Edinburgh49 Prize 2014 for Distinctive and Memorable Theatre.
First performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 4th-17th August 2013 in St Augustine’s Church, Edinburgh. This play also ran as part of a double bill Jane Austen production for two performances in March 2014 in Edinburgh and performed at the Jane Austen Festival in Bath in September 2014.
Mansfield Presents focuses on a few chapters in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, when the young people of the story decide to stage a production of Lovers’ Vows. The play takes a closer look at the relationships between the characters in this section of the novel and uses the characters to question the authorial voice of the original text. Lovers’ Vows – a play by Mrs Inchbald that was popular in Austen’s time but which is generally considered to be of very little literary merit – provides a comic and historic background for the events of the story.
Twelfth Night 1912
Performed, November 2012 at St Augustines Church, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh.
A rework of Shakespeare’s comic classic, Twelfth Night 1912 is a rewrite of the events of the original to set the play in early 20th century London. Transferring the events to a gentlemen’s club and a lady’s garden party, the reworked play pits Orsino against Olivia, as she, a campaigning suffragette, rejects his repeated advances, and he, a spoilt nobleman, determines to further his cause with the help of his new friend, Viola.
The reworked play explores some of the more subtle themes of the original whilst also using the events and the new setting to explore the clash of modernity and tradition at the start of the 20th century.
Performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 6th-18th August 2012 in the Vault, Merchant Street, Edinburgh.
Adapted from the novel, Miss Marjoribanks by nineteenth century Scottish author, Margaret Oliphant, Miss Marchbanks is a domestic comedy about one young woman’s determined struggle to find a place in the quaint but very political world of a small nineteenth century town.
Much like the author of the novel, the central character of the play, whist accepting the strict confines of the role placed on her gender, shows the extent to which nineteenth century middle class women, whilst they may have been legally and institutionally oppressed, were in fact able to form a subculture of power.
Performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 8th-20th August 2011 in St. Augustine’s Church, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh.
Poor Caroline, adapted from the novel of the same name by Winifred Holtby is a dark comedy about one old lady’s struggle to bring morality to 1920s cinema, aided by a disparate group of scoundrels, most of whom are trying to exploit her for her potential money-making abilities.
This dark drama explores a cynicism and distrust which took root in 1920’s Britain in the years after the First World War ended. Aiming to remain faithful to the tone of the author’s original, the play explores the story from each characters’ perspective.
Performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 16th-21st August 2010 in Diverse Attractions, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh.
Lady Susan, adapted from the Jane Austen novel of the same name, tells the story of a lady who will do anything necessary to ensure she climbs society’s ladder. Yet even as we see her manipulate her way from one powerful family to another, it is difficult not to sympathise with this witty, interesting and ruthless woman.
The original is in letter form and the play uses this structure to reflect the story as it is in Austen’s original text – focusing on the women who tell the story and the power that they have and that they manage to make for themselves in the difficult world of Regency England.