We caught up with Maureen at Bellow Theatre to chat about their show Bare Skin On Briny Waters, which will be joining Follow Suit at the Pleasance this years EdFringe! They had some amazing things to say about their work, other Hull companies at the fringe this year and the power of theatre to help us recognise experiences that are different to our own....
Tell us a bit about your show:
The plays tells the story of Annie and Sophie, two young women whose life has led them to the edge. The whole show is underscored with live folk music and asks some really important questions about young women’s place in the world. It’s about female anger, love, and the struggle for independence. Set in Hull and linked to the city’s coastal heritage the rhythm of the sea runs throughout the text. The characters bask in the glimpses it offers of freedom, but they also shrink from its violence. It is inspired by our own experiences of growing up there, a city where opportunities, or perhaps expectations, can be limited. It’s all about yearning for something different, but not being quite sure what that might be.
What sort of theatre do you make?
We make theatre rooted in new writing and storytelling. We often bring live music into the mix, and like to create a folksy aesthetic. We like to explore hidden voices within tales, and narratives which have a life of their own and don’t always obey the teller. We often experiment with a sense of the outdoors in our work, and even when working inside we like to have the feel of open landscape.
What’s the most important thing that theatre should have?
Empathy. Theatre has an incredible power to examine political and cultural issues, but it should always do so by making the audience feel and think. It can put people in different shoes to their own, it can tangle us in surprising tales, and lose us in other worlds, and it can use that power to send us out into the world with fresh eyes because we have recognised an experience different to our own.
What shows at the fringe are you most looking forward to?
Phoar, there’s a question. The most exciting part of the fringe is always discovering new companies and work you’d never heard of and getting a chance to see their (frequently mind blowing) shows, we’ve never seen a Silent Faces show for example. But we’re probably most excited by the other Hull companies we’re heading up there with this year- Silent Uproar, MiddleChild and Pub Corner Poets all have show’s that will make you laugh, cry, and dance in equal measure, and it’s pretty amazing to be in their company.
Bare Skin On Briny Waters is on at Pleasance Courtyard Bunker 1, 2-28th Aug (excluding 15th) at 1pm.