EDINBURGH 2019: Army @ The Fringe Q&A
BWW catches up with Army @ The Fringe to chat about the five shows they are bringing to the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Tell us a bit about the shows involved in Army at the Fringe this year?
Army @ The Fringe's 2019 programme features five compelling shows exploring life in and out of uniform. This year's programme embraces everything from opera and drama to queer theatre.
Unicorns, Almost from acclaimed writer Owen Sheers is a play about World War II poet and soldier Keith Douglas - playing as both an immersive audio experience (2 - 11 Aug) and live performance (13 - 25 Aug). Bomb Happy is inspired by verbatim testimonies from five of the last remaining York Normandy veterans whilst Hallowed Ground, fresh from an Australian tour, tells the story of four women in service throughout history.
Dead Equalis a new opera gripping testimonies from contemporary servicewomen of the Royal Army Medical Corps with the forgotten true story of nurse Flora Sandes. Finally, Creative Electric's The Happiness Project introduces a new type of army - designed to stage interventions and fight to have minority voices heard - with its exploration of our need for non sexual physical contact in our highly digital era.
What issues are being explored in the work the Army are bringing to Edinburgh?
The role of women in service throughout history is explored alongside memories surrounding D-Day landings - inspired by both testimony and poetry. Edinburgh's Creative Electric places queer, working class and disabled people's experiences centre stage, exploring social issues in The Happiness Project.
Why is it important for the Army to have a presence at the world's largest arts festival?
Army @ The Fringe exists to place military stories and wider societal issues centre stage, giving a time and space to get people thinking and talking about these kinds of subjects. We open the doors to a real life reserve centre to offer a unique experience to the public - embracing the history of the venue and sparking conversations about what the Army is and what it stands for in 21stCentury society.
Coupled with the diverse programme is a true Army experience, with general public able to stop by for a drink in our Mess Bar and enjoy some Army grub from our new Field Kitchen.
What is the importance of the after show discussion?
After-show discussions will shine further light on stories explored across our programme - allowing audience members to ask questions, discuss their experiences and find out more about the inspiration behind the shows. For some performances of Bomb Happy, some of the veterans who inspired the show will be in attendance.
What do you hope audiences take away from these shows?
Whilst our programme is diverse, we hope our audiences come away from all shows having experienced a thought-provoking performance alongside a unique venue experience. We welcome everyone to stay after each show, start conversations and embrace the Army @ The Fringe atmosphere.