Gruffdog Theatre take part in the Enable US Project
Tuesday, April 11th, 2017
Gruffdog Theatre are coming to the Drama Studio in the summer to present their new piece, Henrik Ibsen’s poetic classic – Peer Gynt. We asked them to let us know a bit more about them and the production… here’s what they told us…
Gruffdog Theatre are an emerging company who formed in 2015 whilst its members were at university. Our aim is to create work which is vibrant, powerfully emotive, and visually and aurally beautiful, employing puppetry, movement and live music to colour the stories we tell. Peer Gynt is our first UK tour and we’ll be visiting a number of cities and festivals throughout July and August.
We decided in our first year at university together that we wanted to make theatre and set about finding a cast and team who were interested in exploring physical theatre and puppetry. We started work on our first play, an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar whilst overseeing the renovations of an old studio theatre which would host the production. This was an incredibly exciting project, particularly seeing as the chairs arrived only hours before our first audience, and the Michael Pilch Studio became the company’s home for the next year and a half.
We realised pretty early on that we were all excited by spectacle, the power of theatre to feel truly magical and believed there was something about its capacity for wonder which allowed people to connect to stories in a meaningful way. We want to make work that is rich with music and movement and revels in all the shades of light and dark in the play at hand.
The story of Peer Gynt set our imaginations running wild from the moment we read it. It’s a grandiose saga of trolls and demons which spans two continents and several decades whilst wrestling with the very human themes of love, loss, ambition and fear of an inconsequential death. For all its grandeur, it is at the end of the day, the tale of one man’s life and follows him from his buoyant youth to a defiant old age. The challenges and opportunities of staging such a sprawling and cinematic piece on stage caught our attention, but it was the vital and thought-provoking story of its central character that made us desperately want to work on the play.
Over the coming weeks we’ll be building troll puppets, writing music and exploring how to create the myriad of landscapes and characters which comprise Peer’s world before setting off around the UK. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be performing in Sheffield with Performance Venues as part of the Enable US Project!
For more about Gruffdog Theatre, please visit gruffdogtheatre.com or follow us on twitter @GruffdogTheatre