As the great and good of the West End and Broadway were focused on the Olivier Awards at the Royal Albert Hall this weekend, pioneering Fringe innovators The Pensive Federation gathered fifty-eight actors, writers and directors in south London for their launch “inspiration session” as preparations got fully underway for their annual new writing event, The Significant Other Festival, opening next week. Check out our bumper gallery of rehearsal photos below – and then get booking.
For Pensive’s most ambitious production to date, ten new 10-minute plays performed by three actors apiece are being created in just 10 days and woven together in one grand piece. Significant Other, Inc runs for one week only 17 to 21 April 2018 at The Vaults.
What happens when the heart is ripped out of a community? Stories yet to be written but needing to be told. Ten unique pieces, one complete play.
The Significant Other festivals explore our ideas about community, relationships and connections to the phrase ‘significant other’. Each year, the company asks 10 writers to create a 10-minute play for three actors around a setting or scenario. This year’s, under the title Significant Other, Inc takes us back to the 1980s.
It’s 1988, Margaret Thatcher’s third term in office and the manufacturing industry in the UK is in sharp decline. This is Jack’s last day in the firm he built up from nothing. The Reseal 9, Inc factory was the town’s biggest employer, social hub and support. What will happen when it and Jack are gone?
In the first stage of the Significant Other festival process, ten writers, 40 actors and five assistant directors have five days to create 10 new individual stories around this premise – creating a grand allegory for the loss of the ties that bind us in society and the effect it has on us now.
The teams are fully supported dramaturgically by The Pensive Federation’s literary director Serena Haywood. All the new pieces are then combined into one full, immersive play. In the second stage of the process, also lasting just five days, the whole piece is rehearsed and directed by Neil J Byden with five assistant directors in order to stage the final resulting production.
For Significant Other, Inc, the unique, labyrinthine space of the Vaults will be opened out onto the factory floor of ‘Reseal 9, Inc’. The audience are visitors to the factory to watch Jack’s last day unfold in a new piece like no other.
For 2018, the writers taking part are: Catrin Lowe, Laura McGrady, Chantelle Dussette, Emma Bentlley, Olivia Coppin, Daniella Harry, Mark Daniels, Josh Phillips, Anna Landi and Grace Chapman. The directors assisting Neil J Byden are: Yuyu Wang, Lucy Bird, Scott Matthewman, Joseph O’Malley and Hannah Sands.
And the company of actors are: Anthony Cozens, Jayne Edwards, John Rayment, Louise Trigg, Lydia Smart, Pat Garrett, Rachel Smart, Tom Blyth, Kate Tulloch, Steve Rathman, Nick Oliver, Megan Smith, Christos Liberos, Louis Rembges, Sophie Wilkinson, Andrea Ortiz, Samuel Parkinson, Samuel John, Samantha Green, Huw Illingworth, Lucy Wells, Hayley Osborne, Isobel Whitcomb, Anna Hawkes, Robert Daoust, Antona Elson, Sophia Winters, Helen Jessica Liggat, Sam Treharne, Joanna Pope, Isabel Crowe, Liz Webster, Jo Jasani, Sarah Langrish Smith, Stephanie Sen, Chloe Wade, Katherine Jee, Joshua Richards, Matt Kyle and Drew Gregg.