The fabulous Far Removed Theatre Company proudly presents Out Of The Gardens, a sensational homage to eccentric cat ladies, Big Edie and Little Edie Bouvier Beale.
Inspired by the 1975 documentary Grey Gardens, and recent film of the same name, Out Of The Gardens tackles the oddball relatives of the illustrious Jackie O, and their crazy riches to rags story. The group bring song, dance, poetry, live music, drag, comedy and plenty of drama to the decrepit old manor house Grey Gardens which mother and daughter shared with a whole host of cats, racoons, and fleas. i-D online flounced on down to talk to the writer/adaptor of the production, and founding member of the company, Deborah Chatterjee.
Who are Far Removed and what do you do? Far Removed (a bit of a tongue-in-cheek name) is the drama/cabaret producing branch of movers12. ‘Out Of The Gardens’ is our first production.
How is Far Removed, far removed from movers12?! movers12 is a physical theatre company. What makes us unique is that we’re made up of professional and unprofessional actors and dancers, of all shapes, sizes and ages, doing physical theatre. However, it soon became apparent that there was a yearning from some of the actors to do more traditional theatre and for some of the writers in the company (such as myself) to develop their ideas. We didn’t want the movers12 ‘brand’ and identity to get lost though, so with some sound advice from Old Vic New Voices, we set-up Far Removed to develop these kinds of projects in the future, especially as a vehicle for new writing.
Why did you decide to write this particular piece for performance? The idea for a production about Grey Gardens came from movers12 Artistic Director Michael Slade. He’s a big Grey Gardens fan and asked me to write a play about it for the Hot August Fringe. I’d vaguely heard of the two Edies but watched the documentary and HBO film and became hooked. I can see why they have been such an influence on so many people, like Madonna for example. The play is a homage to them and I’ve used transcript extracts from the documentary.
How were the actors for the lead roles of Edie selected? We knew that we had to get a man to play Little Edie, especially as we are performing at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern and we both thought that company member Neil Byden would be perfect for the role. In fact, as the rehearsals have gone on, he has begun to resemble her more and more! We originally had a woman playing Big Edie but the actress had to pull out. Company member Oly Britten had been filling in for her and so he was the perfect choice to replace her. It works really well having two men play the women!
What can people expect from the show? An hour of pure entertainment. There are some very funny moments and Director Tim Molyneux has really brought the script to life. We want the audience to go away uplifted.
Out Of The Gardens runs 22nd – 25th August 2011 at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, London. Tickets here.