EDINBURGH 2018: BWW Q&A- Picasso's Women
BWW catches with Colette Redgrave to talk about taking Picasso's Women to the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Tell us a bit about Picasso's Women.
'Picasso's Women' was first performed at The National Theatre in the year 2000. Written by Brian McAvera, it explores the personal experiences of 8 women who were most prominent in the artistic genius' life. Many people recognize the works of Picasso, much of which was inspired by and features the women in McAvera's play. The series of monologues cover the painter's mistresses, muses and wives from Fernande Olivier to Jacqueline Roque. In this re-imagined production for Art Galleries, three of the monologues are re-created, hearing from Fernande, Olga Khokhlova and Marie-Therese Walter.
Why bring it to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe?
What better place to return to than where the play featured during the Fringe season, August 2000, starring Susannah York, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Amanda Harris and Toyah Wilcox who returns with our production as a supporting Patron. Also one of our other Patrons, Professor Elizabeth Cowling, Honorary Fellow , History of Art, Edinburgh University, author of multiple books on Picasso and curator of the recent successful 'Picasso Portraits' Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London and Musee Picasso, Barcelona, introduced us to The Fruitmarket Gallery and the rest as they say is history...What can you tell us about the cast?
Colette Redgrave - As the name suggests Colette is a part of a Redgrave dynasty of actors. Along with Marcia Carr she is co-producing Picasso's Women. She has also produced European productions of Starlight Express, Much Ado About Nothing, His Dark Materials, Cabaret and Chess. Colette has worked throughout Europe as an actress and voice artist including work on the Discovery Channel and Vienna's English Theatre.
Kirsten Moore theatre work includes The Jewess of Jews, Sydenham Centre, Changing State at Hen and Chicken, Macbeth, Unicorn Theatre and Arsenic and Old Lace at Compass Theatre.
Judith Paris is a one-time member of both the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company performing with Sir Ian McKellen, Charles Dance and Vanessa Redgrave. She made her Broadway debut in Medea with Diana Rigg and performed in seven films for Ken Russell including The Devils and The Rainbow. Her West End credits include: ANNIE, Lust and OLIVER! And she performed A Fine Line, a solo play at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.What does performing in an art space bring to the piece?
The monologues are set in a 'limbo' space which is comparable to perhaps a purgatory or 'God's waiting room', but with no specificity or religious association. The art gallery setting embodies this 'limbo' state and what better way to link the connection to these women and their often overlooked contribution to the world of art than to perform in an art gallery.
Whenever these women lived or worked with Picasso, he was famed for his living spaces becoming 'galleries' in themselves, filled with objects, canvases, brushes and paraphernalia. It seems fitting to discuss 'the artist' in an art gallery.
Who would you recommend comes to see Picasso's Women?
Anyone who is intrigued to hear the 'other side' of the paintings that many people recognize. The current EY Exhibition at The Tate features works from 1932, one of Picasso's most prolific periods of work. The title poster features 'Le Rêve' or "The Dream" which many people will be familiar with - Marie-Therese sits asleep with her famous blonde haired head tilted to one side. What is she dreaming, what is she thinking, why did she later go on to kill herself?
Since the project was conceived in 2016 many significant movements have occurred in terms of the recognition of the treatment of female actresses, artists, models, performers and the question of equality in creative industries. This is purely coincidental in terms of our production, but actually the content of these monologues look at these very questions and experiences, which show the fact that often behind many successful and talented men, a sacrifice of varying degrees is often made by those who surround them.
For timings and ticket information for Picasso's Women visit the edfringe website.