EDINBURGH 2018: BWW Q&A- In Pursuit of Andromeda
BWW caught up with the creators of In Pursuit of Andromeda to chat about bringing the show to the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Tell us a bit about In Pursuit of Andromeda.
In Pursuit of Andromeda is a fantastical play with music set on the Scilly Isles, shortly after WWI. The story centres around Edward, a fisherman haunted by the war, who one morning on the water come across a mysterious girl, semi-unconscious, singing in a language unknown to him and brings her ashore. Upon discovery, he soon learns that she isn't from Scilly, the mainland or this world at all, but is a mermaid named Annwn.
An unbreakable bond forms between them and their fondness for one another deepens with each passing day. However, there is a growing sense of unease as reports of local people going missing from the Isles slowly begin to emerge...
What was the inspiration for writing the show?
It came from a few different places. One was my fascination with the Isles of Scilly and how geographically different they are to the rest of the British Isles, wanting to explore a mystical side to what happens there. Another was my love of all things fantasy, how I've always wanted to bring realms of the mystical into the real world, in particular with Andromeda the folklore of mermaids. How untapped they are in terms of their agenda and what their history is.
Finally, the big one for me was WWI. My research began at the beginning of 2017 when visiting the Imperial War Museum in London, meeting with chief historians in WWI studies and understanding the horrors that the soldiers went through, not just on the front line, but within themselves, as is the case with Edward. With 2018 being the 100 year anniversary of the armistice of WWI, this story feels somewhat current despite the era it's set within.
What sets it apart from other plays at the festival?
We have Annwn our mermaid, Adriana Llabrés, coming from Mexico City and our director, Lisa Milinazzo, coming from New York City and myself from London, sadly not quite as exciting. It's a company on a pretty global scale and where better to be global than at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival!
I also like to think that this play offers audiences an alternative story and world to what will be many popular storyline choices at this year's festival. It isn't about Brexit, Trump or #MeToo (not saying they aren't important things to talk about as they definitely are). This is an enchanting little play, littered with beautiful songs and music composed by the wonderful Harry Sever, where after many years of the world tearing itself apart in the most horrific of circumstances, the real world and the fantasy world meet one another to try and put just a little piece of it back together again.
Who would you recommend comes to see it?
I don't see why one particular demographic would be favoured over any other as I feel this play is accessible to all! However in that respect I think that if you believe in the wonders of fantasy worlds, how they can heal, bring light, comfort and hope into the world we live in, taking you away from this place we call home, then In Pursuit of Andromeda will be the show for you.
Are there any other shows you're hoping to catch in Edinburgh?
I'm very keen to see all my fellow Theatre503 preview shows which will be happening in London from July 17th - 28th, I won't be able to catch any in London sadly as we will be too busy rehearsing this, but they all sound brilliant and I can't wait to see them.
Also, the fellow members of my Greenside Family and the shows at Greenside Venues, whether it be at Nicolson Square where we are, Royal Terrace or Infirmary Street. The venue is a wonderful one, not just in terms of the theatres but the visiting companies, the people who work there, the team that keep the cogs turning, they're all are stars and I'm delighted to be a part of their exciting 2018 program. Of course please feel free to tweet us about your shows too as I love hearing from all the companies who will be up there with us this summer!