So, what can you tell us about Story Pocket Theatre?
Story Pocket Theatre was set up 5 yrs ago with a view to adapting classic and original children's literature for the stage in a magical, exciting and inventive way. We have now produced 7 shows and 6 of them have visited the Fringe over the last 5 years.
I am not aware of David Baddiel’s Animacolm (Ed. Dave, should've asked our mini-DarkChatters who are HUGE fans of the book). So, what should we expect?
David Baddiel is an excellent and funny writer and I faithfully adapted the book so expect lots of humour and fun as we follow Malcolm's mad journey of discovery. The actors are playing lots of different animals so it is very physical, there is an epic musical score from David Perkins and puppetry to boot.
What led you to choose this show?
We loved David Baddiel's writing and this story in particular and felt it could adapt well on stage.
Has David been actively involved in any way?
Yes, he has come to see us in rehearsal and had final approval of the script. His verdict: 'I loved it. Funny, beautifully staged. The songs were cracking!'
Has it been an easy transfer from the page to the stage?
There have been some tricky parts to transfer theatrically and the story is quite complex so we have tried very hard to make sure the storytelling is clear throughout the show. Then we have had to cut 20 mins off the full length version for Edinburgh - that was hard!
What for you is the interest in producing shows aimed at children?
They are so much fun. I love simply telling a story and there are some truly wonderful children's stories to tell.
Having watched a lot of children's shows recently I have been impressed how quickly the kids can get engrossed in a show. Do you think the story is the key element to holding their attention?
Yes definitely. The story is at the heart of it all. A good story, told well can keep an audience of children engrossed for as long as is needed.
Will there be any audience participation?
Not in this show, no.
How have your previews been going?
Very well. We have had excellent audience feedback which is encouraging.
What have been your good and bad experiences of Edinburgh festival before?
Bad has been having to run about with soggy shoes and trousers all day and evening without being able to get dry with incessant rain!
The good is just the amazing place Edinburgh is, the buzzing atmosphere of the Festival and the feast of theatre.
I have been going to the festival since 1986 & generally seen ticket prices reduce over the years due to the Free Fringe and 2 for 1 deals etc. However, although it is great there are far more children’s shows than there used to be I find children’s shows quite expensive in comparison, especially if you try and see as many shows as we do. Do you have any control over the ticket prices you charge?
We do have a certain amount of control - it is something that the venue and company decide between them to keep in line with other shows at the venue.
Your show is on at 11.30am. How will you pace your day?
The morning will be meetings and ensuring the actors warm up then prepare for the get-in and show and afterwards it is flyering, flyering and more flyering! The days are just so full on so I am not good at pacing - just go for it for three weeks!
Are there any other shows you plan to see?
There are lots, particularly some other family shows. Just not enough space to list them here!
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
Find time to sleep!
Now that the festival is within touching distance do you just want it to start or are you in a state of panic?
I am really excited. We are leaving tomorrow and I can't wait to get up there. There will be some technical issues we need to find solutions for but that is all part of the fun.
What are you most looking forward to about this this year's festival?
We have a wonderful cast and I am looking forward to having fun with them and bringing this show to the Festival as it is a wonderful story, beautiful music and a really lovely show (but I would say that!).
Thanks to Adam for taking the time out to answer our questions,
you can see Story Pocket Theatre's version of David Baddiel's
Animalcolm at Gilded Ballon Teviot until August 19th (not 13th).
So, as I type, after 2 months of solid sunshine the weather is deteriorating rapidly which can only mean the Edinburgh Fringe is approaching fast. Our itinerary is virtually complete and we have just watched 5 Edinburgh previews (check out our reviews in the News section).
Performers are getting excited and polishing their shows so we are grateful that Adam Fletcher-Forde (co-director of Story Pocket theatre) found time to let us know what they have planned for us this year as they take "David Baddiel's Animalcom to the Gilded Balloon Teviot