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Chelsea Theatre in Conversation with … Box. Theatre Company

If you had to describe the show in three words what would they be?

Quirky

Chaotic

Comedy

 

How did the piece come about?

We did a lot of writing about funny and absurd situations we had imagined ourselves getting into, or actually found ourselves in. Looking through these scenes and characters we had written, we pieced them together and did a lot of improvisation in and around the theme of the absurdity of adulthood and the natural comedy that arises from trying (and sometimes failing) to successfully “adult”. The idea of setting these crazy characters in a camp setting, in leadership roles came up, and we immediately were enamoured and inspired by it. We wanted to see how these characters who are so different, but at similar places in their lives, would deal with responsibility, and the pressure of having to be “the grown-ups”. Our main goal from the beginning was to create a piece and a space where people were allowed to laugh at the absurdities of growing up, feel less alone in the struggle, and realize that even though we’re different we’re all just trying to navigate this crazy world as best we can.

 

How did you find creating your own piece of theatre?

It’s been a real adventure creating our own piece of theatre, being able to create a story that centres around female friendship and explores the complex currency of that. It’s been an absolute joy working together and combining our brains to tell this story. I don’t think either of us ever imagined how organic our working relationship would be when we first started this process, but it’s been such a pleasure working together. There have been lots of ups and downs, like most things in life,  but it certainly keeps things interesting.

This whole process has been such a big learning curve for us both, and it’s helped us grow as creatives, and as people, in ways we never could have imagined.  One of the best parts about making this piece has been the exploration and creation of these two wildly passionate yet ridiculous characters. We wanted to play with reality and fantasy, and the blurring of these imposed lines.  As the characters are in some ways heightened versions of ourselves, we have been able to stretch them in every direction, and have the joy of playing in that heightened reality without fear.

 

How was the cast found / company developed?

BOX. Theatre Company was founded in September 2016 just after we had all recently graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. We found our producer Jodie Irvine earlier this year, and have been working together on this project for the last year and a half. This play has been in various stages of development and has gone through about three large overhauls since it’s germination.  We decided to form BOX. because we wanted to share honest stories about what it means to be an adult and all the conflicting responsibility that comes with that. We want people to come and see ‘Camp Be Yourself’ and have a giggle, maybe even recognise themselves or someone they know in these characters.  We really want people to be able to step out of the seriousness of the everyday and laugh at the absurdity of life…or at least at us.

 

Why did you choose the Chelsea theatre?

Why wouldn’t we chose the Chelsea theatre? That’s the real question!

The space itself is the perfect venue size for ‘Camp Be Yourself’.  The audience has raked seating, which is ideal for any comedy. The whole venue lends itself to the creation of a camp environment which we are looking to create from the moment the audience steps in the door.  We are excited to debut the play at the Chelsea Theatre, and hopefully bring in a new type of audience to the theatre while simultaneously showing off how awesome the Chelsea Theatre is. We can’t wait to bring ‘Camp Be Yourself’ to World’s End.  

 

What is your favourite line in the show?

Emilia and Betty’s favourite line is: “As Goddess-Queen of all things arts Meryl Streep once said to the 2010 graduating class of Barnard, “You don’t have to be famous. You just have to make your mother and father proud of you.”

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