DDF Day 3 Preview

David Knowles looks at the shows coming up on the third day of the Durham Drama Festival

ddf Preview

David Knowles talks to the Writers and Directors of the shows on the third day of DDF…

Show: Satin, by Sam Kingston Jones

Times vary– go to the DST website for more information

Blurb: The darkly comic tale of four Victorian prostitutes and their fierce competition for the attention of their clients. Complete with musical score, Satin is a Moulin Rouge for a generation of communal living, obsessive weight-loss and husband hunting.

Satin’s writer and director Sam Kingston-Jones, a Durham University student, is no stranger to the challenges of staging a piece away from an established theatre.

He said: “Using a building like Old Shire Hall to stage a play isn’t always easy, but the challenges we face are microscopic in light of what we stand to gain.

“I am thrilled at the prospect of adding that extra dimension of authenticity to the show by staging it in such a wonderful building.”

There are 65 places available per performance. For tickets visit www.durham.ac.uk/dst/show.php?show=910 or call Emily Cohen on 07799 795354

Show: Dead Letter Office

Times vary– go to the DST website for more information

Blurb:Dystopian love story set in a post office in a nuclear bunker. Like Beckett, but with more kissing and less existential angst. Featuring three actors, one bird and more envelopes than any other DDF play this year.

What inspired you to write for DDF?

It’s something I’ve always wanted to try, and university seems like the ideal environment. There are willing participants; numerous (free!) rehearsal rooms and performance spaces; loans are available, and competition for them is comparatively small. I would have been disappointed if I’d left Durham without taking advantage of these opportunities

What’s your show all about?

Post. And love. Most people don’t associate the two, but having been both a post-man and in-love they seem sort of inseparable to me… In terms of narrative, the play’s a love story set in a nuclear bunker after the end of the world. ‘Burtonesque’ is probably an apt term

Why should Durham students see your show?

It’ll be unlike anything else at Durham this year. It’s cute and strange. Possibly more of the latter than the former. But, yeah, definitely a unique experience. Ironically, I imagine that's a fairly common response…

What’s your favourite part of the show?

There’s a bit right at the end where two characters are trying to speak. Sitting right next to each other, facing straight out into the audience. It’s awkward; they’re very, very close. And they can’t do it. This silent stand-off goes on for what feels like an age, then one of the characters has an idea: bends down, picks up a letter, scribbles something and passes it—like a kid passing a note in class—to the other. And there is communication. It’s simple, but very sweet.

Show:Incognito by Michael McLauchlan

Times vary– go to the DST website for more information

Blurb:Two unidentified shackled souls are sentenced to condemnation; however we only ever see one. The other is mysteriously hidden as a shadow. A primitive fear of the unknown torments the former and it is only after a painful recollection of past events that allows him to face the truth and break free.

What inspired you to write for DDF?

The depiction of the metaphysical anguish in Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” was definitely the driving force for INCOGNITO. Also, as I am a keen fan of Beckett, I chose to inject several absurdist elements in my play, such as the concepts of human futility and senselessness. I should also perhaps mention that my readings of Milton’s “Paradise Lost”, Dante’s “Inferno” and even Maya Angelou’s “Caged Bird” helped me create this piece of theatre.

What's your show all about?

A chained man wakes up in a dark world. He is accompanied by another condemned soul; however he can never see “it” – only a shadow. A fear of the unknown drives him to despair, as he tries to break free and see the truth. However, he will only be able to escape if he can accept himself, which might prove to be a difficult task. Moreover, the truth he so longs to see can turn out to be ugly…

Why should Durham students see your show?

INCOGNITO promises to be a play that will not involve dogmatic reception – audience members will be invited to discuss, debate, and draw their own conclusions on the plot. The play will also project several important philosophical concepts that all students are interested in, such as “what is the meaning of life” and “what happens after death”. Don’t we all ask these questions at some point in our lives?

What's your favourite part of the show?

My favourite part has got to be the ending. The climatic denouement is definitely thought provoking!

A teaser of the production can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hlOjrr3KpY

Show: Connected by Aaron Colvert

Blurb: Based on the theme that our fundamental actions and decisions are all connected, this set of live psychological and social experiments test the skills to predict, control and influence human behaviour.

Time: 10pm, Assembly Rooms