In our last interview Theatre Unlocked said they were excited to see Incognito's new show, Tobacco Road, which will be at the Pleasance Courtyard this August! We caught up with Incognito about the show, the "I'll see anything" attitude and the fact that in the theatre, anything is possible.
What drove you to make Tobacco Road?
Tobacco Road is set in London in the 1920’s, a time period where there was just simply so much material for us to explore. We originally sat down as a group and thrashed out the main themes we wanted to look at and then from those themes we started to consider the suitable eras in which we could set our show. We really wanted the show to make comments on modern day society and often it is good to set a show in a previous era to do this, almost as if you are holding a mirror up to a modern day audience in which they can reflect on what is different, and what has changed in society today. Post-War Britain was a melting pot when it came to different political and social issues and we thought we could use historical material as a driving point to explore our main themes. In addition, because Incognito always strive to make productions that are visually exciting we relished the idea of creating material using the aesthetic of the 1920’s.
What are the main themes of the play and why are they important to you and your audience?
The play looks at a few different themes however, the main ones we wanted to tackle included gender inequality, toxic masculinity and the disenfranchisement of young people. We felt that these three issues were ones that are so prevalent in today’s society especially when you consider stories that have been in the news recently such as the gender pay gap, the rise in male suicide and the massive rise in knife crime and gang related violence in England and Wales. Where ever you go these issues effect everyone is some way and we really want to highlight the importance of getting our audiences to consider these issues and how we can go about tackling them.
There are so many ways to tell stories, tackle issues, explore ideas - why theatre?
Theatre is a medium where anything is possible, you can take your audience wherever you want to take them and tell them stories in a way that is engaging and innovative. There is no boundaries when it comes to what you can do in a theatre. Incognito is all about trying to tell stories in a way that is fresh, new and exciting and this is why we have worked so hard to try and create a trademark style that amalgamates whole host of different theatrical practises and techniques, but then is also our own, we are worked to make it unique to us as a group by tweaking certain aspects of these different practises. We hope to create pieces of theatre that stick out in audiences minds as something that is bold and different.
What was the last show you saw that you think everyone should see?
I went to see ‘The Brothers Size’ at the Young Vic which has really stayed with me. The show was so innovative in its use of the space and the performances were all superb, really blew me away. There was also a moment in the play where the two brothers sung along to Otis Redding’s ‘Try A Little Tenderness’ and it was simply the most blissful piece of theatre I have seen in a long time.
What else in the Edinburgh Fringe programme are you excited to see?
I’ll be honest I always wait until I get up to Edinburgh to start getting excited about shows and I will go and see pretty much anything when I am there. However, always excited to see News revue if they are going up this year and also there is some new writing I am excited to see called ‘Outside’ which is on at the Pleasance.
Tobacco Road is on at 15.15 at the Pleasance Courtyard!