“We were meant to be presenting “The Stones” in 2020, but, well, we all know what happened!”
WHO: Kit Brookman: Writer/director
WHAT: “In the aftermath of a terrible break-up, Nick takes a job out of town as a private tutor to two young children. The job seems perfect, the family too good to be true. But then the stones begin to arrive. The Stones is a darkly comic gothic mystery about guilt, delusion and the responsibility we share for the next generation of people who have to live on this planet.”
WHERE: Assembly Roxy – Downstairs (Venue 139)
WHEN: 12:30 (60 min)
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Is this your first time to Edinburgh?
Yes, this my first time in Edinburgh both as someone presenting work and as a punter. We were meant to be presenting “The Stones” in 2020, but, well, we all know what happened! But I have a lot of mates who’ve brought shows to the Fringe in the past and they’ve all talked about what a particular experience it is – fun, full on, often exciting, occasionally maddening, probably exhausting. And I thought: I could do with a bit of that in August.
What are the big things you’ve learned since 2019 and have you absorbed any of the lessons yet?
I think the big thing I’ve learned over the past couple of years is the utter fragility of so much about our lives that we take for granted. To give an obvious example, I live in London but I’m from Australia, and that distance has always felt manageable because in my mind I was only ever a flight away. But actually, 17,016 kilometres is not a short distance! And suddenly when you can’t fly you’re confronted with how unsustainable that choice is on a number of levels. Or in terms of working in theatre, you always assume you’ll be able to be in a room with other people, until suddenly you can’t. I think this lesson of fragility is something that all of us are probably going to have to keep learning in different ways in the future.
Tell us about your show.
“The Stones” is a solo show, a contemporary riff on the gothic mystery genre. It’s a funny and frightening deep-dive into guilt and delusion with a persuasive, unreliable narrator. I wrote it specifically for Luke Mullins, who’s an extraordinary performer from Australia. Luke’s created a number of massively acclaimed solo shows in the past like “Lake Disappointment” and “Autobiography of Red”, and with this show we wanted to create something that was radically distilled, that used the barest elements of theatre in the most effective way we could imagine. We did a brief 1-week tryout of the show in London in 2019 and the responses were really great, so we decided to keep developing it and bring it to Edinburgh.
What should your audience see at the festivals after they’ve seen your show?
OK – I have a long list but I’ll try to be brief! See David Finnigan’s “You’re Safe Til 2024” – David makes amazing work at the intersection of science and theatre, and this show brings an urgent perspective to the climate emergency. In terms of comedy, I’m sure everyone already knows they should go and see Rhys Nicholson at Underbelly, but I’m telling you anyway. In terms of theatre, I’m very keen to see Antler’s show, “Civilization”. A newer company whose work I’m going to check out is Alien Jefferson, a young company out of East 15’s excellent Theatre and Contemporary Performance course. I taught them for a unit in their second year and they’re smart and inventive and have created a genuinely odd and moving show with “Enter Mr. Citrus Man”. And if you see one thing in the international festival, make it Belvoir St Theatre’s “Counting and Cracking”, an extraordinary multi-generational story spanning Sri Lanka and Australia.
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