Bloom Theatre is back from 7 January to 7 February 2021 with a digital production of new play Avalanche, written by the company’s co-founders, Simon Fraser and Jack Albert Cook. The play deals with the aftermath of sexual assault and its effects on the mind and body.
Alex has spent his life on the mountain.
Every day spent the same; body conditioning, endurance, lung expansion, balance, slalom… skiing. Always trying to cross the next finish line.
He was always in control. Until he wasn’t.
Simon Fraser and Jack Albert Cook said: “During the first lockdown, we produced a digital series that highlighted some of the best new writing and performers that we could have only imagined being staged in another life. From that, we wanted to take this time and opportunity to tell a story that felt a lot closer to home. A project that was something we could develop and nourish further.
“Simon had an idea for a new play and after a few months of editing and re-writing as a company, Avalanche began its journey to a fuller, more rounded piece. We couldn’t be prouder of the outcome and cannot wait to share this story with the world. This is a story that we know people need to be invited to witness.
“Coming from such a personal perspective, we hope that by watching Avalanche, audiences can experience, first hand, stories from the weird and wonderful people of the world that we ultimately want to continue to represent,”
Bloom’s previous work includes the well-received Saplings and Saplings 2.(0)LINE which premiered in March and May 2020 respectively. Fraser and Cook also previously worked together on the latter’s five-star play Fast Love at Theatre 503 and the Lion & Unicorn Theatre last year.
Fraser’s previous credits also include design assistant on Rust and Strange Fruit (Bush Theatre). Cook’s previous credits include Luke and Ivy (The Space and the Lion and Unicorn Theatre) and the upcoming Proforca Theatre production AAAAA (Lion and Unicorn Theatre and The Albany, Coventry).
Avalanche is directed by Alistair Wilkinson and will feature Sonny Poon Tip as Alex. Artistic director of WoLab, Wilkinson’s previous work includes Man-Cub (WoLab/RADA/Etcetera Theatre/King’s Head), Housewerk (Arcola Theatre) and 39 Degrees (VAULT Festival).
He told My Theatre Mates that it had been a total joy to work with Bloom Theatre on this “thrilling and urgent project”. The themes of Avalanche were particularly pertinent to him and he felt a duty to tell the story in a delicate and direct manner.
“Themes of male mental health, masculinity and queer assault feel ‘taboo’ to discuss, which is wrong – we need to open up a wider conversation on these subjects, encouraging more people to talk about them so that survivors feel less alone in dealing with their trauma. Avalanche approaches this topic in a sensitive and nuanced way. It’s a story of acceptance, struggle and personal triumph. Triumph is the word I would use to describe the creative process so far.
“Every artist involved has entered the room with an enthusiasm that is contagious. It has been totally collaborative – there have been no egos and it has resulted in a product I am deeply proud of. I can’t wait to share Avalanche with the wider world, and I am even more excited to take it on its next steps of development.”
Sonny Poon Tip’s previous credits include Godfrey (VAULT Festival), Three Sisters (Almeida Theatre) and King Lear (Duke of York’s Theatre).
He comments: “Working on Avalanche was a real honour. To be trusted with such a beautiful and honest script felt very special to me and I’m grateful to Simon, Jack and Alistair for bringing me on board. I’m really excited for people to see what we created, as a team, and hope that in telling this story we can shed light on an important topic and reach out a hand to anyone who might need it.”