- review from an audience member who will be attending ‘SAPPHO …in 9 fragments’ for a second time next week
SAPPHO …in 9 fragments by Jane Montgomery Griffiths transfers to The Rose, Bankside from 21st May to 2nd June, 2013. This politically-charged and visually-compelling solo performance, featuring the “magnetic” (RemoteGoat) Victoria Grove, achieved critical and popular acclaim with a sold-out extended run at the White Rabbit Theatre.
“The Rose – part fringe theatre, part excavation site – is the perfect venue for a play about Sappho, whose extensive collection of poetry has been all but lost, save for a few fragments that suggest what might have existed; just like the foundations that permit us to imagine the theatre once used by Marlowe and Shakespeare”
- Jessica Ruano, Director of SAPPHO …in 9 fragments
Following its two-week run in London’s historic venue, this “uncommonly exhilarating” (Exeunt Magazine) production begins a tri-city Canadian tour in June 2013, then plays at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2013 at theSpace Venue 45.
Within a secluded cavern, Ancient Greece’s first love poet laments her erasure from history, while a chorus girl named Atthis is seduced into a modern-day Sapphic romance.
Featuring Victoria Grove as Sappho/Atthis and directed by Jessica Ruano, this production is designed by Ana Ines Jabares, with lighting by Sarah Crocker, sound by Luca Romagnoli, and aerial work by Jani Nightchild.
SAPPHO …in 9 fragments plays at The Rose, Bankside, 56 Park Street, London, SE1 9AS (near London Bridge Station) from 21st May to 2nd June, 2013, Tuesday to Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 3pm. Tickets are £12 (£10 concessions) at wegottickets.com.
For a one-minute trailer of the show, please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UN2E8j5UfiE
Since moving to London over a year and a half ago, I managed to fall in with some wonderful theatre artists and ended up directing my first professional show titled ‘Sappho …in 9 fragments’. Since the show did quite well (check the reviews), I’ve decided to take it to Canada on tour.
Interested in getting involved? There are several options:
1) SEE THE SHOW
‘Sappho’ is playing in Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal this June 2013. And you’ll love it, I promise. It’s got poetry (from Ancient Greece’s best love poet), storytelling, aerial choreography, ropes and scaffolding, phenomenal acting, killer soundtrack, ‘take your breath away’ visual moments, and the sexiest lesbian love story you’ll ever encounter. Seriously, bring the kids.
Toronto: June 14 & 15
Ottawa: June 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29
Montreal: June 27 & 28
For full tour information and to purchase advance tickets, please follow this link.
2) PROMOTE THE SHOW
If you can’t make it to the performance, but you think your friends will love it, feel free to connect them with us via. social media.
3) SUPPORT THE SHOW
Truth is, we need some money. We’re taking this show across the ocean from London to Ottawa, and plane tickets are expensive, yo. And you know how much I love handing out flyers, so we should probably print a few of those. Plus venue rental costs and hiring a fancy limo to drive around the lead actress… uh, forget that last bit.
All in all, we’re looking at spending just over $5000.00. Which is not bad for an international show. So if you’re willing and able to chip in a few, you know I would be forever grateful. And I’ll happily thank you publicly.
Donating is super easy: just visit the Jer’s Vision page (this charity is wonderful enough to be supporting and presenting our Canadian tour), click on ‘DONATE NOW’ and select ‘Arts: Sappho in Canada’ as the recipient.
Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions.
The show opens in just over two months! In the meantime, we’re making plans to remount the show in London (possibly in one of Shakespeare’s former theatres…) and present the play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. So much to look forward to.
I spent my last couple of years in university studying and shadowing Canadian theatre companies that toured their work in festivals nationally and internationally. I admired their perseverance and their belief that theatre work could have a life beyond its original presentation, even ten to fifteen years into the future. And I would love for ‘Sappho’ to enjoy a similarly lengthy existence. Here’s hoping!
Perhaps the best part of the day was when the groom Emma and her two brothers performed a dance routine to the song ‘All the Single Ladies’ in front of all the wedding guests.
“We practiced for three months straight,” said Keiran, the youngest brother. “Except for a couple of weeks when I broke my leg.”
“I had no idea they were going to do that,” said the bride Tasha. “It was such a surprise.”
Tasha is my first cousin on my mother’s side, and this past weekend she married her “soul mate” Emma in a little Welsh district called Llanelli just outside of Swansea, where the newly weds both live, teach secondary school, and play football. It was one of the most touching events I have ever witnessed.
My mother had flown in from Canada for the occasion, and she rented a car to drive me and my grandmother from London to Swansea. Tasha is the first of my grandmother’s five grandchildren to get married, so this was a pretty big deal.
(Granted, the law in Great Britain allowing same-sex couple to get married hasn’t yet been put into effect – perhaps not until 2015 – so this was technically a ‘civil partnership’ or a ‘civil union’. Though, once the laws change, it should be easy enough to apply for a marriage certificate. In the meantime, same-sex couples that have participated in a ‘civil union’ have all the same rights as ‘married’ couples.)
An exceptional craftsperson, my mother had offered to make the couple a quilt for their nuptials. Tasha, delighted, specifically requested one that was red and white, and with hearts. Yes, hearts. My cousin and her partner are in mushy-gushy love with each other, and they’re not afraid to show it.
Case in point: in their home hangs a personalised calendar with pictures of themselves in cute-couple poses for every month of the year. Check out their Facebook profiles, and you’ll see the same display of cuteness. A projector at the wedding reception, alongside the dance floor, showcased even more of these photos that they’ve collected over the years.
“Twenty-eight hundred pictures altogether,” grinned my other cousin, Tasha’s big sister, Lucie.
Also at the wedding reception was one of those carnival games wherein you direct a claw to reach down and select a prize: all the prizes were small teddy bears wearing ‘Tasha & Emma’ t-shirts. For serious.
And then there was the groom’s wedding speech, done a-la-PowerPoint presentation. Emma wrote a ten-minute poem of rhyming couplets that acknowledged every single person in attendance that day (seventy people altogether, including me and my mum represented in the PowerPoint by a maple leaf flag), and especially her bride Tasha, calling her “the one person I couldn’t live without”. She ended the presentation by displaying an animated rainbow triangle that transformed into a heart with the words “I am so proud to love you” circling around it.
The ceremony itself was lovely. At ten o’clock on Good Friday morning, all the guests were gathered at the town hall, with Emma standing at the front in her dashing suit, looking pleased as punch, giving a thumbs up or a peace sign to anyone taking photos of her. Then Tasha arrived with the rest of the wedding party, and she looked positively radiant in her white dress, revealing her tattooed shoulders, and under her veil a little half ponytail sticking out.
Nervously, they repeated after the registrar the vows they had written for each other: all about soul mates, and all their dreams coming true, and being so happy about spending their lives together. Emma mumbled a little, and Tasha had a bit of a cough; they exchanged little kisses whenever they felt like it. And once their union had been confirmed and notarised, they posed for photos, holding hands, side by side, grinning madly.
At some point, my mother turned to me and said, “How could anyone think this is wrong?” And… actually, forget what I said earlier: that – that in itself – was the best part of the day.
My lovely and brilliant friend Julie Laurin filmed this. It is so strange watching yourself, and noticing the lines in your face, and the way your bottom eyelid flickers, and how much you bite your lip. Also, I think my dress is very pretty.
Hey, I started a blog! (I know – what’s new, right?)
But this one is all about touring ‘Sappho …in 9 fragments’ to Canada and Edinburgh. So if you’re interested in touring theatre, in physical theatre, in stage design, in script development, or in anything to do with the poet Sappho, then you might enjoy reading, and even commenting on this blog.
Also, our tour dates are now listed!
Check it out: http://sappho9fragments.wordpress.com/