“It is staged with cartoon animation by Charles Peattie, gorgeous black and white silhouettes which, because The Song Of Lunch is a retelling of the Orpheus myth, uses imagery from Greek pots.”
WHO: Robert Bathurst, Producer
WHAT: “Robert Bathurst (Cold Feet, Downton Abbey, Toast of London) and Rebecca Johnson (The Trip, The Flood) star in this hilarious and poignant drama of a disastrous attempt to rekindle lost love. Set in a Soho Italian restaurant, Costa Award winner Christopher Reid’s verse comedy is exquisitely intertwined with glorious animations by Charles Peattie (Alex cartoon, Daily Telegraph) in this bittersweet tragi-comedy of love, loss and Chianti. Directed by Jason Morell. ‘Robert Bathurst is a class act and a master of nuance’ (Herald). ‘A beautiful comic actor’ (Financial Times).”
WHERE: Pleasance Courtyard – Forth (Venue 33)
WHEN: 14:20 (60 min)
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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?
I was here when I was a student, doing revues. It had the same manic atmosphere but was less shiny and efficient than it is today, with few performance hubs and no instant ticketing. There was an attractive handmade griminess, cut n paste publicity, a greater sense of amateurs winging it, and the coffee would simply not be acceptable to today’s crowd. Decaff, soy latte, extra shot please.
What’s the biggest thing to have happened to you since Festivals ’17?
I’ve done another series of Cold Feet for ITV.
Tell us about your show.
The poet Christopher Reid wrote a book, The Song Of Lunch, as a comic antidote to his previous publication, A Scattering, written in tribute to his late wife and finding some resolution in grief. Both are in verse, both are about love and loss and I thought I could stage them together. Christopher has let me.
I’m trying out The Song Of Lunch at this Festival. It is staged with cartoon animation by Charles Peattie, gorgeous black and white silhouettes which, because The Song Of Lunch is a retelling of the Orpheus myth, uses imagery from Greek pots.
I got funding from the Arts Council and the Jerwood Foundation to help make the animation and, after a short trial run at Chichester, this is the first time I’m presenting it for critical opinion. I’ve put together a really skilful and committed production team, the show’s a two-hander with the wonderful Rebecca Johnson and we’ll see how it goes. With luck people will begin to realise that Christopher Reid is one of our finest living writers.
What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?
Tim Key, John Hegley, Arthur Smith (who’ll be getting a statue soon), Su Pollard, Esther Rantzen, Margo, Avocado. And all those whispers.
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