A passion for the Arts led Commonweal’s Headteacher, Keith Defter, to enjoy a variety of shows at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, but the show stopper for him was the Viscera Theatre comedy – drama sell-out play, ‘In Tents and Purposes.’
This hour long show tells the story of two friends Libby (Roxy Dunn – Channel 4 Babylon, BBC Three Top Coppers) and Sam (Alys Metcalf The Play That Goes Wrong, West End) who at a music festival compete with their egos to tell a comic, time-hopping story, exploring whether our lives are predetermined or shaped by our choices.
In Tents and Purposes was written by Roxy Dunn (shortlisted for Channel 4/Oran Mor Comedy Drama Award), directed by Chris Head and developed with Complicite’s Mick Barnfather.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have this sell-out Edinburgh Fringe 2016 show performed at Commonweal. Having seen and thoroughly enjoyed it only a matter of weeks ago I cannot recommend it highly enough! Read the blurb; google the company but make sure you don’t miss it,” said Keith Defter who in his youth performed himself at this international festival.
“I Went to Edinburgh first in 1976 as a student and then pretty much every year since 1989. I did a number of shows over the years both as performer and director. This helped me develop my love for the Arts,” Keith added.
Keith spoke to the actors after the show and persuaded them to come along to Commonweal C6 auditorium on Thursday 20 October to perform an afternoon show and masterclass to GCSE and A Level Drama students from across the Borough. The masterclass will cover Acting Techniques and Improvisation with a Q&A at the end about Working in the Industry. Schools can purchase tickets, priced £5, through their usual outlets. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for further info.
There will also be an evening performance to the wider community all at a very good discounted price of £5 a ticket which can be purchased on the door. The show starts at 7pm with 20 minutes of comedy shorts from the cream of Commonweal upper school students. This is followed by a break where the public can purchase refreshments from the licensed bar before the play begins.
It’s August 2010 and newly graduated best friends, Sam and Libby, are letting their hair down at a music festival before they embark on the rest of their lives. In between the naked dancing and the fake funerals, they fit in a visit to a fortune-teller, who predicts career success and true love for Sam – and for Libby, a life of poverty and loneliness. Following them through the next decade, we see Sam become an international success as a chef and marry the love of her life, while Libby languishes alone in a rented flat with her as yet-unfinished novel.
At the mid-point of the show they flashback to the festival where they’re given the reversed fortunes and we see their lives play out a second time around, ultimately asking how much we make our own luck and to what extent who we are determines what our fate will be.
Running parallel to this story are “meta sections”, where the actors, Roxy and Alys, step out of character and create an equally entertaining and, at times,volatile narrative about their friendship and how the play was created.
In Tents and Purposes premiered at the Lyric Hammersmith on 22nd January 2016, as part of the Evolution scheme, before transferring to the VAULT Festival from 10th – 14th February. The show then ran from 4th – 29th August at Assembly, George Sq, Studio 4 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The show was a sell out success in Edinburgh, having gained 92% sold across the board. It was produced with the support of the Soho Young Writer’s scheme, sister company Folio Theatre and Bechdel Theatre, who pioneer female-lead work.
Praise for In Tents and Purposes
“A breath of fresh air”
“Daft enjoyable meta-theatre comedy”
“An hour well spent in the company of two future stars”
“Very funny stuff and the performances are excellent”
★★★★★ ”See this show. It’s what you’ve been waiting for. Desperately recommended”
THE EDINBURGH REPORTER
★★★★★ “Serious talent to watch”
★★★★ ”One of the most enjoyable theatrical experiences I’ve encountered so far at the Fringe this year”
“Viscera Theatre’s work is hugely inventive and funny as hell. Go and see them now”
NICK PAYNE (CONSTELLATIONS – WINNER OF EVENING STANDARD BEST NEW PLAY AWARD)