Being part of Incoming Festival has been really exciting for Silent Faces, we are so excited to be performing at New Diorama and HOME, to get to share our new show again before Edinburgh, but most of all - to be part of this community. That's why we have done another load of interviews with the companies that are also part of the festival, and it has been so great to chat to them all! First up we have Footprint theatre talking about their show, Signals.
What drove you to make Signals?
We are all fascinated by space and the question of whether we are alone in the universe. But what really drove us to make a show on the subject, was the ways in which it opens up an exploration of aspects of specifically human existence. It seems to suggest a lot about humans that we’re so desperate to not be left on our tod! As a company we like to explore ideas that we are unsure about and are confusing and complex (and that we’re not smart enough to understand!) over an extended period of time to try and get a better understanding of them. The enormous size of space is literally beyond human comprehension which means it just poses more questions than answers, which we find really exciting. We’ve become a bit nerdy about it really. Our astrophysics is ropey at best though but we have had the Director of Jodrell Bank and professor at Manchester University, Mike Garrett , very kindly come on board to consult on our script and tell us about how organisations like SETI (Search For Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) operate.
Tell us a bit about Footprint Theatre
Footprint Theatre is an emerging, northern theatre company which creates work through a combination of devising and new writing, working collaboratively to craft intricate stories and detailed worlds. We met at the University of Sheffield in 2014 and wanted to make a show together. We studied a combination of English Lit and English and Theatre so we had a lot of time on our hands!
Our debut production, Daniel, was first created and performed at Theatre Delicatessen before being selected for the National Student Drama Festival 2016. Daniel follows those left behind when an eighteen-year-old is sentenced and imprisoned for the possession of 50,000 indecent images of children. The show explores the unheard stories of the family and friends who are forced to deal with the aftermath. After the festival, it went on to tour to the Edinburgh Fringe, the Royal Exchange, Camden People’s Theatre and the New Diorama.
Our second production, The Belief Project, was created and performed at Theatre Delicatessen. It is a show about the power of our beliefs, no matter how great or small, and it involved a lot of origami – we are all very good at it now!
There are so many ways to tell stories, tackle issues, explore ideas - why theatre?
Theatre is great because you experience it together. It constantly shifts and changes so the element of spontaneity is exciting. Plus, you get to work with brilliant people every day. Theatre lends itself to working collaboratively and that is something that we aim to put at the heart of everything we do.
What was the last show you saw that you think everyone should see?
The Encounter by Complicite. We all saw it and agreed it was incredible. The sound design is genius and Simon McBurney’s performance was brilliant. We all want to use binaural sound in our next show. Watch this space!
Theatre making is hard and, although we try our best to work around them, it has its limits. If you had an unlimited budget, an unquestioningly devoted audience and all the time in the world, what show would you make?
Great question! Maybe a show that is entirely watched through a VR headset and the audience are all in the world of the play. Or maybe an immersive show on a private island that we could totally take over for a few months.That would be great!
What else in the Incoming Festival line-up are you excited to see?
It’s all brilliant so we are hoping to catch a lot of it across the two venues. We have seen a few of the productions before but we are excited to see Wonderfools’, Silent Faces’ and Manic Chord’s shows because we have heard great things but never had the chance to see their work!
See Signals 25 June at New Diorama and 7 July at HOME!