One more chance to wing it to top play

Sunday Tribune - - LOCAL -

FRESH from its suc­cess at the 2017 Ed­in­burgh Assem­bly Fringe Fes­ti­val in Scot­land, ac­claimed play­wright, di­rec­tor and pro­ducer Lara Foot’s The In­con­ve­nience of Wings, is at the Hil­ton Arts Fes­ti­val to­day at 10am. Her other play, Ka­roo Moose was also staged at the fes­ti­val.

Foot is the Bax­ter The­atre Cen­tre’s chief ex­ec­u­tive and artis­tic di­rec­tor.

She said much of the suc­cess of the two plays, al­though dif­fer­ent, was that their style was “very cut­ting edge”.

“They are dan­ger­ous and they speak about things that are im­por­tant and taboo but, yes, cer­tainly they speak to the heart of the au­di­ence in the sense that they share sto­ries.”

In The In­con­ve­nience of Wings, the cast in­cludes Jennifer Steyn, An­drew Buck­land and Mnce­disi Sha­bangu (pic­tured).

Ear­lier this year it scooped a string of Fleur du Cap awards for Best Di­rec­tor (Foot), Best Ac­tor (Buck­land) and Best Ac­tress (Steyn).

It’s set in a land­scape of mem­ory and dreams, and tack­les the is­sues of friend­ship, dys­func­tion, ad­dic­tion and an­gels.

Sara (Steyn) has been di­ag­nosed with bipo­lar dis­or­der; she’s com­pul­sive and, among other ob­ses­sions, hates women who know how to make cup­cakes. Her hus­band Paul (Buck­land) is on a mis­sion to find a cure for her af­flic­tions and Pro­fes­sor James (Sha­bangu) tries to save Paul from the in­con­ve­nience of his wings.

At its heart there’s a love story, and it makes for com­pelling view­ing with the con­tem­po­rary themes of bi-po­lar dis­or­der and com­pul­sion, and its dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect on the fam­ily.

Cut­ting close to the bone for any­one who has suf­fered men­tal ill­ness, or has lived with some­one who is af­flicted.

Foot says she has taken ex­am­ples from per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences and as­so­ci­a­tions and has also con­ducted ex­ten­sive re­search on the sub­ject mat­ter.

“In­con­ve­nience demon­strates that ac­knowl­edge­ment is a start for many many fam­i­lies that are deal­ing with a dis­or­der, be it an ad­dic­tion or fam­i­lies who are deal­ing with an ail­ment. It can be­come a very lonely thing.”

She adds that in­stead of peo­ple be­ing aware that such ail­ments ex­ist by watch­ing the play, “they could be­come part of the so­lu­tion as they are en­gag­ing by virtue of be­ing faced with the is­sue”.

“I al­ways look at the po­ten­tial of up­lift­ment and what one can do in terms of el­e­vat­ing oth­ers’ spirits.”

“The qual­ity of the work we do and the ac­tors is very high and the plays are thus very enig­matic and skilled.”

‘The In­con­ve­nience of Wings’ at the Hil­ton Arts Fes­ti­val to­day.

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