For the first time ever, Old Vic New Voices, in partnership with the Underbelly and IdeasTap are taking a season of five new plays to the Edinburgh Fringe for the whole of August. So, who are the lucky lot heading up to Scotland this summer? We are pleased to introduce the winners of the New Voices Edinburgh brief….
Bitch Boxer, written and performed by Charlotte Josephine, is the story of a young woman training for the competition of her life - it’s the summer of 2012 and for the first time in history women are allowed to compete in the sport of boxing. But in a man’s world, can one woman prove she’s worth the title?
“I thought they were having a laugh when I was told I’d been short-listed. Let alone winning it,” says Charlotte. “I really want to take Bitch Boxer to Edinburgh this summer, because not only is 2012 the first time the games are going to be held in London since 1942; it is also the first time women have ever been allowed to compete in the boxing event. To have the support and guidance of a team who have so much experience in the industry and are really passionate about new writing is incredible.”
Chapel Street, written by Luke Barnes and produced by Laura Elliot, is described as “a crackling mix of poetry and profanity that takes on a deep resonance in Cameron’s ‘Broken Britain’.” As bottles are drained through interwoven monologues, a tale unfolds detailing two versions of events that will change the lives of Kirsty and Joe forever.
“I can’t even put our reactions to this news into words,” says Laura. “We are very excited by the challenge, potential and transformative power of taking the show to Edinburgh. For all of us it will be the first show we have taken up to the Fringe as professionals in our respective fields. To have the invaluable mentoring from Old Vic New Voices, IdeasTap and the Underbelly at this early stage of our careers will provide such a springboard to shape us as a company and as individuals.”
Glory Dazed, written by Cat Jones, has been developed with ex-servicemen prisoners at HMP and YOI Doncaster in response to the alarming statistic that 10% of the current prison population are ex-servicemen. Co-produced by Second Shot Productions, a social enterprise that creates arts opportunities for ex-offenders, it follows the story of Ray as, over the course of a night at the pub, he tries to win back his ex-wife, Carla.
“To get the support and endorsement of Old Vic New Voices, IdeasTap and the Underbelly will not only raise the profile of our production and help maximise potential audiences, but will also create a piece of entertaining, challenging theatre, worthy of such credible endorsement,” says Cat.
One Hour Only, written by Sabrina Mahfouz, presented by Made from Scratch Theatre Company, is the tale of young British Asian, AJ, and young British Polish, Marley, as they stumble upon each other’s reality, and are forced to question whether there is such a thing as free choice in our unequal world.
“I’m just too excited to be at the Underbelly for Edinburgh 2012 with this new play,” says Sabrina. “When I first heard the news I was in the middle of London Bridge and I couldn't help but start cheering in the street!” says Made From Scratch’s Euan Borland. “This award means so much to us as a company. Edinburgh can't come soon enough!”
Strong Arm, written and performed by Finlay Robertson, produced by Vicky Graham, is the tale of Roland Poland: fat by name, fat by nature. Everything will change when he wins Mr. Britain, but beneath the muscle there’s a buzzing in his head that won’t go away.
"As someone whose first ever job in London was taking tickets on The Old Vic door, it feels amazing to be given this opportunity,” says Finlay Robertson. “I'm really excited to be working with such an energetic team committed to promoting unheard voices and stories”.
Sign up to IdeasTap for advice, funding, opportunities and our weekly newsletter – with all the latest arts jobs.