Small Truth Theatre launches its Digital Caravan Theatre, the company’s first collection of audio plays by an extraordinary ensemble of award-winning and acclaimed playwrights – Emma Dennis-Edwards, Abi Zakarian, Jessica Butcher – all available to download for free on 15 August 2020 at 7pm.
The collection has been curated with the Caravan Theatre’s local community in London’s North Kensington in mind, but these plays are wonderful for everybody to enjoy.
Whether it’s listening while out walking in your neighbourhood with Abi Zakarian’s play Enough, celebrating Notting Hill Carnival’s roots and rhythms care of Emma Dennis-Edwards’ Spirit of Carnival, or being a young person trying to make sense of where they belong in the world with Jessica Butcher’s September Skies – there is a story for everyone.
Each piece was originally performed in the Kensington Karavan Festival 2019 when the Caravan Theatre was set up on the streets of Portobello Road. Audiences will be able to experience the plays in a completely different way thanks to the new digital format, although Small Truth Theatre’s artistic director Yasmeen Arden is back at the helm along with sound designer Nicola Chang.
Not only that, but incredibly talented actresses Danielle Vitalis (Spirit of Carnival), Lilly Driscoll (Enough) and Safiyya Ingar (September Skies) have reprised their roles.
Small Truth Theatre’s Yasmeen Arden says:
“We are working in spaces that are even smaller than our Caravan Theatre – inside people’s ears, and also bigger than the county’s largest stages, people’s imagination – so our gorgeous stories and characters have become both the most intimate and most epic theatre.
“I love working so closely with Nicola Chang whose beautiful sound design is at the heart of all the Digital Caravan Theatre’s collection. Community voice is still at the centre of this new work and we are honoured that our original writers and actors have wanted to come on this new digital adventure with us.”
Spirit of Carnival
Starring: Danielle Vitalis (I May Destroy You, BBC; Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner, Royal Court; Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle, BBC; Sliced – Lovely Electricity/Dave; Don Juan in Soho, Wyndham’s Theatre)
Emma Dennis-Edwards is a writer/performer of Jamaican and Trinidadian heritage. Her play credits include Fringe First award-winning play Funeral Flowers (Roundhouse, Hackney Empire, The Bunker, Bernie Grant Arts Centre and Freeword) and American Dream 2.0 (Young Vic). Emma was selected for the BBC Studios Writers Academy and is under commission by EastEnders, Casualty and Holby City. She is also working on original television ideas for independent production companies Balloon, The Forge and Moonage.
“I’m attracted to theatre in unusual spaces and how we can create work for local communities that is seen by those audiences. Growing up on the other side of London, I’ve always loved West London and seen it as a home away from home, so the challenge to creating a piece of theatre for a community that I have observed and loved is a great honour.”
Starring Lilly Driscoll (Jekyll & Hyde, ITV; Tag, BBC; Bricks, Old Vic; The Numbers, Ciaohandy)
Abi Zakarian is an award-winning British-Armenian playwright based in London. Her plays include: I Am Karyan Ophidian, produced by Shakespeare’s Globe for the Sam Wanamaker Theatre; Fabric, produced by Damsel Productions for Soho Theatre/Touring; Fabric also played at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016, Fringe First Award; I Have A Mouth And I Will Scream, produced by Joyous Gard for VAULT Festival. She is currently under commission with Shakespeare’s Globe and Damsel Productions and developing Fabric for television.
“I’m drawing inspiration for my piece – Enough – which I dedicated to Portobello Road, and all roads that hold a community together – from the local area, its history and people and the two beautiful trees on Tavistock Piazza. I want to create a little moment of magic; focusing on the idea of rebooting kindness in a world that seems to be out of control right now.
Starring: Safiyya Ingar (The Canterville Ghost, Unicorn Theatre; Hobson’s Choice – Royal Exchange/Headlong; Abi, Derby Theatre/Queen’s Theatre, Growth – Paines Plough; Holes, Nottingham Playhouse)
Jessica Butcher is a writer and actor. Her play Sparks, which she both wrote and performed in, won Show of the Week at VAULT Festival 2018 and sold out at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, winning the Best Musical Award from Musical Theatre Review. Her acting credits include Offside, Where Do Little Birds Go? and EastEnders.
“I like writing theatre that is honest, funny, with as little facade as possible, you can do so much with an audience when you have them really there with you, all up close and real.”
These three beautiful audio plays are available to download for FREE from 7pm on 15 August via The Caravan Theatre website (www.caravantheatre.co.uk) and also will be available on various other usual digital online platforms.
All the collection will also be accompanied by British Sign Language (BSL) translation and Spirit of Carnival will include a visual film from award-winning filmmaker Daniel Renwick.
Thanks to the support of the Arts Council England, the first Digital Caravan Theatre collection is being offered for free, “encouraging non-theatre going audiences to experience the absolute best of new writing plays online from some of our most exciting, urgent and relevant voices in the UK”.
The second audio play collection will be coming soon with a new trio of play commissions announced, in partnership with Royal Borough of Greenwich and the University of Hertfordshire.
Small Truth Theatre is an award-winning theatre company based in North Kensington. The collective is proud of its working-class roots and gives priority to working-class artists and seldom-heard stories, seeking the extraordinary in moments of truth that often go unseen. The Caravan Theatre is Small Truth Theatre’s micro mobile arts venue with a big heart.
The Digital Caravan Theatre season of audio plays is produced by Jamie Arden and Caley Powell of Lights Down Productions.