This August, like the one in 2019, the lockdown prevented me from visiting the Edinburgh Fringe. Still this year I managed to be virtually present. Sal Cabras and I presented our English Theatre Milan online farce, Box and Cox, with a fantastic Scottish cast, and I watched a good deal of online Fringe productions. I purposely steered clear of the pre-recorded shows, which for me lack the energy and connection to the audience that streamed performances can sometimes achieve.
The streamed performance of Flanker Origami by Organic Theatre, which we’re presenting on 14 November at 5pm on Zoom, really caught my eye. It’s a poignant portrayal of the everyday life of a couple confined to their tiny flat in Edinburgh. What makes the show particularly intriguing is the way the couple – John Dean and Bianca Mastrominico, two highly talented actors and writers in real life, based in Edinburgh – create a surreal, but a somehow familiar daily fantasy. As they engage in lively banter, song and dance, we realise they have invented new identities for themselves, perhaps in a bid to escape the monotony of life in lockdown. The show is also innovative in its mix of splendid animation and real life actors. A Q&A will round off the show when you can meet Bianca and John.
Maggie Rose, Milan, 1 November.
Flanker Origami by Organic Theatre
Flanker and Origami are stranded on Zoom in their own house, transformed into a glittery domestic fantasy of spectacle. They get through the infinite time at their disposal via a couple game which is manipulative, tender and slightly disturbing, with no other escape than playing out preposterous online wellbeing routines, under the illusion of healing themselves and others.”Utterly bizarre yet strangely familiar… intimate, relatable, and cleverly shot” Fringebiscuit
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ABOUT ORGANIC THEATRE
Organic Theatre is an intercultural performance laboratory created by Bianca Mastrominico and John Dean in 2002. We make, play, disrupt and make again. We sleep on it, we dream of what comes next, we are dissatisfied, and we continue being curious. We are collectors of creative intuitions coming from our lives and our times. Our work is rooted in ongoing training and research for innovative interdisciplinary practice and pedagogy, and our focus is on process-led collaborative creation and audience participation, both live and digital.
We are a culturally diverse company, and our differences are our strengths. As individual creatives we are committed to promoting equality and diversity through our work and our engagement with audiences. We have a pool of longstanding collaborators, and we seek creative partners on a project-by-project basis. We welcome requests for placements from people with a creative background interested in learning about what we do and how we do it.
We have performed throughout the UK and Europe, in theatres, art galleries, museums, streets, barns, village halls and festivals including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Brighton Fringe Festival, Brighton Science Festival, Festival d’Automne à Paris (France), E45 – Napoli TeatroFestival Italia (Naples, Italy) amongst others. Our professional collaborations and training projects have included Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal National Theatre Studio, Shakespeare’s Globe, Gate Theatre (London, UK), Shakespeare Institute (Stratford, UK), Nottingham Playhouse (UK), Theatr Clwyd (Mold, UK), Teatro Sancarluccio di Pina Cipriani e Franco Nico (Naples, Italy), Odin Teatret (Holstebro, Denmark), Gardzienice Theatre Association (Gardzienice, Poland), Milòn Mèla (Bengal, India), Asian Arts Agency, Theatre Bristol and Tobacco Factory (Bristol, UK).
Workshops and research activities by the company have been presented at various UK universities, conferences and research centres including University of Exeter, Central School of Speech and Drama, Royal Holloway University, University of Bristol, University of Kent, Manchester Metropolitan University, TaPRA (Theatre and Performance Research Association), Theatre Training Initiative (London), Third Theatre Network, Bodies: On: Live, Magdalena: On: Line 2021 (online festival by the Magdalena Project). From 2005-2007 we were Company-in-Residence at University of Plymouth, and we currently teach at Queen Margaret University (Edinburgh). Organic Theatre has received financial support from Arts Council England, Exeter City Council, and Bristol City Council, ESPRC – Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e Turismo, and Napoli Teatro Festival Italia (Italy).