Project Description

HEATHER

Heather is a play by Thomas Eccleshare, produced by Dancing Brick and Paul Jellis in association with the Bush Theatre and Tobacco Factory Theatres.

A reclusive children’s writer becomes wildly successful. Her books are treasured across the country. But when a troubling narrative starts to unfold, we find ourselves asking: what matters more, the storyteller or the story? Heather is a short, sharp play about language, prejudice and the power of stories.

The play is structured in three parts and in part one I used stage mics on stands to give a sense of detachment as the actors read a series of emails. In part two concealed radio mics were used to subtly amplify an extremely tense encounter. In the third part the microphones and mic stands become props in a cinematic sequence while also adding sonic effects. This final sequence is also accompanied by an orchestral, Harry Potter style music score and sound effects.

Heather was presented at Summerhall in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2017 and was included in the British Council Edinburgh Showcase. Following the Edinburgh run Heather toured UK venues through the autumn of 2017 including The Bush Theatre, London, Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol, Tron Theatre, Glasgow.

HEATHER

Heather is a play by Thomas Eccleshare, produced by Dancing Brick and Paul Jellis in association with the Bush Theatre and Tobacco Factory Theatres.

A reclusive children’s writer becomes wildly successful. Her books are treasured across the country. But when a troubling narrative starts to unfold, we find ourselves asking: what matters more, the storyteller or the story? Heather is a short, sharp play about language, prejudice and the power of stories.

The play is structured in three parts and in part one I used stage mics on stands to give a sense of detachment as the actors read a series of emails. In part two concealed radio mics were used to subtly amplify an extremely tense encounter. In the third part the microphones and mic stands become props in a cinematic sequence while also adding sonic effects. This final sequence is also accompanied by an orchestral, Harry Potter style music score and sound effects.

Heather was presented at Summerhall in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2017 and was included in the British Council Edinburgh Showcase. Following the Edinburgh run Heather toured UK venues through the autumn of 2017 including The Bush Theatre, London, Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol, Tron Theatre, Glasgow.

Writer: Thomas Eccleshare

Director: Valentina Ceschi

Music Composition & Sound Design: Iain Armstrong

Lighting Designer: Joe Price

Designer: Lilly Arnold

Producer: Dancing Brick & Paul Jellis

Photography: The Other Richard

“That second act is one of the most tense, riveting scenes you will experience at this year’s Fringe – a perfectly constructed face-off employing layers of revelations and accusations, with just enough black humour in place to function as a pressure valve to release tension in the room before building it slowly back up to bursting point.”

* * * * *

Niki Boyle, The Scotsman

“And the third part thrillingly delves into the magical world Heather has created: Gerlach and Melia jump around the sparse stage, feverishly evoking an ethereal world of death and danger to Iain Armstrong’s cinematic sound design.”

* * * *

Fergus Morgan, The Stage

“New writing examining authorship presents a captivating blend of light and dark.”

* * * *

Rowena McIntosh, The List

“Tension is built by both exquisite acting and production. Lights, sound, props and script all serve to make Heather an engaging hour of entertainment, ideal for those looking for something with some power and sincerity at this year’s Fringe, although not without some laughs for the parody elements of ‘Greta and the Pen Necromancer’.”

* * * *

Aisling McGuire, The Wee Review

“Visually, the last act is a great one to end on. Fantastical, heightened, and child-like, full of dynamic staging and evocative sound effects.”

* * * *

Chloe St George, The Reviews Hub

Writer: Thomas Eccleshare

Director: Valentina Ceschi

Music Composition & Sound Design: Iain Armstrong

Lighting Designer: Joe Price

Designer: Lilly Arnold

Producer: Dancing Brick & Paul Jellis

Photography: The Other Richard

“That second act is one of the most tense, riveting scenes you will experience at this year’s Fringe – a perfectly constructed face-off employing layers of revelations and accusations, with just enough black humour in place to function as a pressure valve to release tension in the room before building it slowly back up to bursting point.”

* * * * *

Niki Boyle, The Scotsman

“And the third part thrillingly delves into the magical world Heather has created: Gerlach and Melia jump around the sparse stage, feverishly evoking an ethereal world of death and danger to Iain Armstrong’s cinematic sound design.”

* * * *

Fergus Morgan, The Stage

“New writing examining authorship presents a captivating blend of light and dark.”

* * * *

Rowena McIntosh, The List

“Tension is built by both exquisite acting and production. Lights, sound, props and script all serve to make Heather an engaging hour of entertainment, ideal for those looking for something with some power and sincerity at this year’s Fringe, although not without some laughs for the parody elements of ‘Greta and the Pen Necromancer’.”

* * * *

Aisling McGuire, The Wee Review

“Visually, the last act is a great one to end on. Fantastical, heightened, and child-like, full of dynamic staging and evocative sound effects.”

* * * *

Chloe St George, The Reviews Hub