We got to talk to Bram from Kryptonite Theatre about their show Strawberry Starburst, a play about a young woman struggling against her eating disorder. Considering the fact that talking can save lives, it is amazing to say that there is currently a plethora of work around Mental Health from all angles. In this great interview Bram considers how this sort of discussion could be important for women, and men, of all ages.
What drove you to make/ Strawberry Starburst?
My cousin developed anorexia in her mid teens, she came to stay with me and my family for a week and I observed that her relationship with food was very complicated. She loved food but found it difficult to overcome an inner struggle concerning health, weight and body image. I did further research by interviewing two young ambassadors from B-eat (a leading eating disorder charity) and I spoke to researchers working in the development of treatments of eating disorders through neurological imaging at Kings College London. I have myself worked in the field of mental health for over four years, and I'm passionate about writing about this subject, as it is rarely covered in an accurate and relatable way.
Who is Strawberry Starburst for?
The show itself explores the life and struggle of one young woman, but I witnessed and spoke to many who shared her experience. Their stories are not being talked about enough so although women from pre teens to 40's may relate to it the most, I'd hope that both women and men of all ages can see the show and further thier understanding of this issue.
What’s the most important thing that theatre should be/do/have?
I love the liveness of it. How it can be poetic and abstract at the same time yet still have all the elements of a well crafted story. I also love how there seems to be a greater artistic freedom in theatre than in writing/working in mainstream TV and film (I've done that as well).
If you had to make a new show, what CURRENT news story would you like to make a show about?
Funny you say that, I'm just finishing off a play focusing on youth homelessness. I worked with homeless young people for over a year at New Horizon Youth Centre, and it felt that not much was being done by the government to help vulnerable youths who had ended up on the streets. It was an extremely harrowing experience but I learnt a lot and met some real heroes, both working there to help these vulnerable individuals, and also the homeless youths themselves- strong and beautiful souls!
What theatre ‘turn offs’ do you have?
I don't like to be involved with rehearsals. I've heard about writers who do and don't. For me I'd rather let the actors and director and whoever else feel artistically free, and my presence would hinder that.
What was the last show that moved you to action?
I very much enjoyed Hanna at the Arcola, a one woman show with similarities to my show Strawberry Starburst.
What shows at VAULT are you looking forward to?
Obviously always looking forward to the work by Silent Faces, Follow Suit is very interesting. I also love a bit of cabaret, so I'll be on the prowl for that!
You can see Strawberry Starburst in the first week of VAULT Festival, from 24-28th Jan at 18.00!