“Please remember to enjoy your affair responsibly”
Our debut production Brewers Fayre by Scottish playwright David Greig, tells the story of five individuals searching for an authentic connection in their lives and through the internet. The show follows a trapped couple and their feisty teenage daughter, caught in a (world-wide) web of information overload, missed connections, longing and betrayal, culminating in a dramatic showdown at a roadside Premier Inn.
The writer, David Greig, gave the audience the plum role in the story as he wrote the words of the main protagonist for the audience to read aloud to converse with the actors in a personal and unique way. Our audiences played the role of lonely wife and mother, Elaine, with a great sense of fun and the results were often hilarious. David Greig has a knack of simultaneously challenging an audience and keeping them roaring with laughter, and many audience members told us that the experience was exhilarating, funny and at times disconcerting.
The script was also unusual in that David Greig gave the cast and director the freedom to decide who was speaking at any particular time, as he did not assign any of the lines to any particular character, (with the exception of Elaine/the audience). Greig, in effect, gave us a gift to create something unique to our ensemble.
Movement Director, Dodger Phillips, explored ways to physically clarify and develop our ideas, working with the actors and director, Sandie Armstrong, to unpack the piece. We had a ball in rehearsal experimenting with the scenes and characters, and it was, by its very nature, a truly collaborative process.
CLICK IMAGE BELOW TO WATCH IAN’S DISASTER VIDEO:
Video design by David Richards Sound design by Rachel Heaton
To develop the characters’ experience of the internet we used a large screen and added visual images and video footage. This worked well alongside the audience’s lines projected onto a screen, creating the online world of disembodied voices and images flashing up on the computer screen.
Visuals Designer, David Richards, put together a compelling montage of images and video footage in the empty white space at the Brighton Media Centre.
Lighting Designer, Strat Mastoris, was also instrumental in creating the look of the piece using the white space and the brick work of a second playing area to create two distinct worlds: the online blue world in the white space and rich tones of the red brick “real world” of the Brewers Fayre.
Rachel Heaton created an original soundscape which ran underneath and between scenes using themes and images we identified in the piece: electronic communication, water, birdsong, stampeding horses. The natural sounds juxtaposed with the electronic soundscape beautifully captured the characters’ sense of alienation and their desire for an authentic connection.
Cast and Creative Team on Brewers Fayre
Elaine – The Audience/special guest actor
Ian – Dodger Phillips
Christine – Tegen Hitchens
Anthony – Miles Mlambo
Counsellor – Rachel Heaton
Voice of the Internet – Tom Dussek
Director/Producer – Sandie Armstrong
Co-Producer – Michelle Jani
Movement Director – Dodger Phillips
Soundscape Designer – Rachel Heaton
Projected Images/Video Design – David Richards
Lighting Designer – Strat Mastoris
Audiovisual Cues – Michelle Jani
Lighting Operator – Guy Wah
Stills Photography – Strat Mastoris, Jonny Whiting
Promo video editor – David Richards
Promo video camerawork – Jonny Whiting