Penelope Skinner’s 2010 “modern urban fairytale” Eigengrau is revived at London’s Waterloo East Theatre this month. CentreStage’s Chloe Fry caught up with director Georgie Staight about why the play is so relatable, particularly for twenty-something Londoners. Time to get booking!
Darkness visible… The colour seen by the eye in perfect darkness.
Eigengrau is a play about London. About being lost in urban chaos. About a struggle to find meaning in a world of random encounters and connections.
It’s a play about aspiration. About feminism. What does it mean to be a good feminist? What does it mean to be feminist? Fantastically funny and fiercely relevant, Penelope Skinner’s tragicomedy is a modern urban fairytale.
Staight’s new production stars Katie Buchholz, Isabel Della-Porta, George Fletcher and Callum Sharp. It’s designed by Bex Kemp, with sound and lighting by Johnny King. It’s produced by Frances Livesey for Dark Skies Theatre.
Eigengrau runs from 10 to 22 September 2019 at Waterloo East Theatre, Brad Street, London SE1 8TN, with performances Tuesday to Saturdays at 7.30pm, matinees on Sundays at 4pm and Saturday 21 September at 3pm. Tickets are priced £10-15. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
Talking to… Georgie Staight
Established young theatre director Georgie Staight focuses on developing the most exciting new voices across the UK and working with up-and-coming theatremakers and companies. She believes in work that is subversive, joyful and collaborative, and enjoys theatre that engages through strong character and humour.
Her recent directing credits include four-time time Off WestEnd-Nominated Chutney (Bunker Theatre); D-Day-75 (Watermill Theatre); Roosting (Park Theatre); Into the Numbers (Finborough Theatre); Dubailand (Finborough Theatre); Flood (Tristan Bates Theatre) and White Light (Arcola Theatre).
Tell us about Penelope Skinner’s play.
Eigengrau is a hilariously dark character comedy. It examines friendships and romantic entanglements, as it follows four twenty-somethings trying – in different ways – to make their way through the chaos and loneliness of living in a big city. That’s where a lot of the drama and comedy comes from. It’s a beautifully written piece that is incredibly relatable for anyone who has lived in London through their twenties.
What message would you love audiences to take away from your production?
That London can be an overwhelming place and feeling lost within that chaos is okay.
Is there anything in particular that you look for when deciding what to direct?
Strong characters are some of the first things that pull me in when reading a new script. I have to fall in love with the characters – be it their flaws or strengths. I love open scripts where the design and staging potential is endless. That’s where the most enjoyable and challenging collaborations come for me. Theatre is a people-driven industry so who you’re working with is the most important thing.
We all know how frantic London can be, but it can also be beautiful. What’s your favourite thing about the city?
The wealth of culture and opportunity in London astounds me every week. That and walking down South Bank on a summer evening.