“In The Stooge we met Lawrence, the surviving member of a double act of clowns, whose partner died choking on a ping-pong ball during their signature juggling act. Now we meet Goody, the circus’s Chimpanzee.”
WHO: Jamie Firth, Director
WHAT: “Winner of Les Enfants Terribles Greenwich Partnership Award 2017. 1934, Dustbowl America. Backstage at the travelling circus, we discover the complex relationship between one man and his performing chimpanzee. Marooned in a world she does not comprehend, Goody finds comfort with her only companion: her trainer Frances. How do they communicate? How do they cohabit? Who is in control? Lucy Roslyn’s new play is a striking, darkly funny exploration of the extraordinary, heartbreaking world of performing apes and the humans who live with them, love them and break them.”
WHERE: Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)
WHEN: 14:15 (60 min)
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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?
We’ve individually each done different shows over the years, and visited almost every year, but our first outing as “BoonDog Theatre” was in 2013 with The State vs John Hayes. Since then we’ve been plotting our return.
Tell us about your show.
We started talking about a drama set around a circus a few years ago: a series of plays that introduced different characters from the same universe with interwoven, but separate, stories. Thus the BoonDog (“Boon and Doggett”) Circus was born. In The Stooge we met Lawrence, the surviving member of a double act of clowns, whose partner died choking on a ping-pong ball during their signature juggling act. Now we meet Goody, the circus’s Chimpanzee.
The way we work generally is that Lucy Roslyn, our Creative Director, will write a piece and then we work together to mould it into a production with a long process of refining and re-writing. She’s very smart and writes really interesting, intricate things. Once we’ve built it, we’ll generally do a reading or a workshop once we’ve identified people to perform it – because the characters are mentioned in other plays in the series we imagine it sort of like the Marvel Universe where we can work with loads of different people in different roles. So someone who sees a lot of the series will recognise and be able to put a face to names mentioned in other shows! So essentially BoonDog is Luce and I, and then a galaxy of other talent brought in for whatever the next story is. In this case, Luce has worked with Jesse Rutherford, who plays Goody’s trainer, in another show and we both knew he was perfect for Frances. He has a wonderful timelessness: he seems simultaneously both old and grizzled at the same time as maintaining a sort of youthful naivety. He’s brilliant and a thoroughly lovely person to work with.
Goody is brand new for Edinburgh 2017 and then will be at the Greenwich Theatre in early September. We’ll then be doing a prequel to the series (which introduces the managers of the circus as young men) early next year, before hopefully the next in the series for Edinburgh 2018! That’s the plan.
What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?
There are more than 2000 other shows, and I would recommend seeing as many as possible. All if you can.
If your time is more limited I would definitely see brilliant comedy with Colin Hoult and Kat Bond and Bec Hill. I would go Cabaret with Cat Loud and Camille O’Sullivan. See some musical theatre like Buzz the Musical. Some drama like Cockamamy at the Summerhall. Track down Daniel Kitson in whatever form you can (obviously. Always).
BUT, above all things, go and marvel at Jayde Adams. Her show was the absolute highlight of last year, brilliantly funny and human and moving and everything: I’m booking hard and early for her show Jayded at the Pleasance Courtyard and you should do that too.
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