Imitating The Dog in 6 Degrees Below The Horizon
THEY are a young theatre company whose innovative skills caused quite a buzz when they collaborated on a show seen in Huddersfield last year.
Imitating The Dog worked with Oldham Coliseum on last year’s production of Hound of The Baskervilles and it was the company’s particular technical skills which brought a vivid new look to the classic story which played at the Lawrence Batley Theatre.
Now the Leeds-based company is back, this time with its own show, 6 Degrees Below The Horizon which plays the LBT on February 6 and 7.
It promises to be one of the most memorable theatre pieces of the spring season. This is a ground-breaking company which offers an exciting performance style blending the arts of cinema, theatre and storytelling.
The company was started in 1998 by Dr Andrew Quick, a theatre studies lecturer at Lancaster University and a group of his then third year students.
Its first piece was Einmal ist Keinmal, which was so well received that the group decided to take it on tour.
After the piece won an award at the National Students Drama Festival, the core members decided to start a professional company.
Ever since, it has been creating highly original work, stories that are relevant to contemporary life and which are told using new approaches in stage design, media and writing.
Inevitably, the company’s work draws on the histories of its own performers.
That’s certainly how writer and director Andrew Quick feels about the new show, 6 Degrees Below The Horizon.
“The story starts with an old man confessing to his daughter who he never really knew, why he had abandoned her,” said Andrew.
“There’s a connection to a story in my own life. My grandfather decided to sign up and go to war. For seven years my father didn’t know his dad.”
It was an event which made Andrew question why a man who didn’t have to go to war did so. Was he running away from something or was something else behind his decision?
“My dad and his father never really talked about it. My grandfather left my grandmother in quite difficult circumstances.”
That very personal story from Andrew’s own life becomes a theme in the story of 6 Degrees Below The Horizon and he feels it is a situation which may well resonate with many people.
“Families are full of secrets and that is one of the connections people will make with the piece.
“They may not have a literal story like this but they know that sometimes it is difficult to explain things in families for all sorts of reasons. The play touches on that.
“One of the things I really thought about with my father was that he found out a lot more about my grandfather and his family when he was dying. I found that really interesting.”
Throughout literature and other art forms, the idea of deathbed confessions or revelations is a recurring one.
It is certainly a powerful way in which to revisit a life and that is what will shine through in this show.
For while in today’s culture we are all hugely connected to technology through our phones and computer screens, the power of the individual is still crucial.
“We try to remind people that the live presence of the person in front of you is very important,” said Andrew.
Expect to see powerful, playful theatre from a company renowned for its insightful, beautiful pieces.
Box office is on 01484 430528.