Blackpool-based actor and writer Stephen Wymark has decided that if audiences can’t get to the theatre, then the theatre will have to get to the audience.
He has launched an experimental project – Theatre In Your Lounge – to re-invigorate an interest in live theatre in the area.
Stephen plans on taking his new play Fragments to front rooms across the Fylde and launches his scheme tonight in the St Annes lounge of Sue and Ian Godsiff, who saw its world premiere preview at the Blackpool gallery space of local artist, Adrian Pritchard last month.
Sue Godsiff said: “I was lucky enough to see the preview show and was very excited about it all. When the Theatre In Your Lounge idea was mentioned I wanted to be the first person to host Fragments, as I couldn’t wait to share it with my family and friends in my own lounge.”
“The play is very self-contained, as I am the writer and sole performer,” explained Stephem.
“I was originally hoping to perform it in normal studio-theatre type venues, but due to the rather inflated costs involved I have had to re-think my strategy.
“I then gravitated towards the idea of spaces not normally associated with theatre performance, and came up with the idea to create a specific project to take live theatre into people’s homes. Something of this nature has never been undertaken in our area, and I want to take the opportunity to pioneer this initiative.”
Stephen, who trained in theatre, at Blackpool and the Fylde College, Whittaker’s Dance and Drama Centre and Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre, explained that he doesn’t envisage this as just a piece of theatre, but more an experience.
“The play, by its very nature and proximity to the audience, will be ‘up close and personal’, and hopefully take the audience on an emotional journey,” he said.
“Fragments tells the story of a man who is living in a semi-translucent fantasy between this place and another, as he struggles with the letting-go of his world, his memories and his previous life.
“It’s a piece of theatre that is challenging and rewarding, asking questions about what we believe theatre is, how it is experienced, and what it discusses.
“I view this project as a way for an audience to be engaged in a more personal experience of live theatre, but to also come to the realisation that they play a far more important role than they actually realize.”
The performance will include a short post-show chat where audience feedback about their experience will be encouraged.
Stephen is also currently looking for suitable spaces/venues to stage Fragments beyond his ‘lounge’ shows.
He will also consider performances for students of sixth forms or local colleges, who have a particular interest in theatre or creative writing.
Contact Stephen directly on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://web.me.com/wymark/Fragments/Home.html.