It’s been a week full of experimentation here at HighTide. Steven Atkinson and Rob Drummond are creating the latest HighTide production, In Fidelity. This play is quite unlike anything we’ve ever presented before.
We kicked off on Monday with a read-through of the play with Steven, Rob, and Deanne with Designer Ana Inés Jabares-Pita, Sound Designer George Dennis, Lighting Designer Natasha Chivers and Projection Designer Jack Henry James. The play is funny, heartfelt and moving, and the first-read through always helps to really bring things to life ahead of the rehearsal process.
So what’s it about? In Fidelity is an exploration of love, monogamy and evolutionary theory examined through a live on-stage date between two members of the audience. It’s the perfect show for those looking for a great night out at the theatre who want to try something different. Whilst there’s an opportunity to find love, this is not a show that’s just for singles - but for everyone who wants to celebrate love. As an interactive play, absolutely everyone watching can get involved as much or as little as they like - ranging from watching the show as a ‘straight play’, to adding to the experience by giving advice or warnings to the daters on stage, or by getting involved and going on a date! Writer Rob Drummond is incredibly hopeful that he will help people find real love and relationships through In Fidelity. A sentence we love saying.
There’s an awkwardness and honesty that has been intriguing to watch where you feel genuinely excited to see where this might lead.
An interactive play like In Fidelity has of course required an audience to participate throughout rehearsals so that Steven and Rob can fully see how the play will work on stage. Traditionally the rehearsal room has had a firmly closed door, the results created inside not to be seen until opening night! For In Fidelity, the door has been wide open with team HighTide and invited guests entering rehearsals on three separate occasions.
On each of these visits the HighTide team and guests have found out some interesting facts about each other, having been asked questions such as ‘Do you find it hard to say I love you?’ and ‘Do you cry at movies?’ For what it’s worth I answered yes to both… just a whiff of a sad scene and I’m an emotional wreck. Aside from the questions asked of us, one of the most interesting experiences of visiting rehearsals has indeed been the opportunity to watch strangers go on dates with each other. There’s an awkwardness and honesty that has been intriguing to watch and you feel genuinely excited to see where this might lead. It might be love, it might be longevity, it might be neither. Which in a sense doesn’t matter - the most thrilling part is to see the on-stage journey these strangers are taking together, in front of what will be a crowd of 100 people. We’re already sad that we won’t get to see how every single performance at the Festival will turn out, which has really hammered home for all of us involved exactly how important the audience will be in making this show successful. An exciting thought, to say the least.
Rehearsals for now are done for this week, but we’re already raring to go for next week. In the mean time, make sure to book your tickets now for either Traverse Theatre’s #TravFest16 or HighTide Festival 2016.
See you there, hopefully.
In Fidelity runs at #TravFest16, the curated festival of events at Traverse Theatre for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 4 - 28 August. Following its world premiere, In Fidelity will then transfer to the tenth annual HighTide Festival of new plays from 8 - 18 September in Aldeburgh, Suffolk.
You can book tickets for both runs and find out more here.