Daniel Hallissey: The Shadow of the EdFringe

In The Shadow Of The Black Dog

Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Front Room / 1st – 23rd AUG 6:30pm

“How can I be vulnerable and emotional, when it goes against everything I’ve felt I had to be since I was a boy?”

IN THE SHADOW OF THE BLACK DOG, written by Daniel Hallissey and presented by ALL THE PIGS, tells the story of Alquist.

An endearing, raw comedy, the story takes place in the present, while the narrative includes flashbacks that inform the audience of significant events from his past and the motivations that lead Alquist to challenge his beliefs about what it means to be a man in today’s world.

 

What is the carbon footprint of bringing this production to Edinburgh, and have you incorporated any activities that enable you to reduce this?
Last year there were over 3500 shows and over 32,500 artists. All were promoting their shows, most of which were using flyers. In 2018 Lyn Gardner wrote an article for The Stage about this issue.

Not only have we printed our show on jumpers, but we have also created a QR code you can scan with your phone’s camera and instantly a link will appear sending you to our shows booking and information page for Assembly at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

This saves paper, waste, trees, is environmentally friendly and sustainable. A revolution in promoting. It encourages interaction by engaging potential audience members in conversation. This flyer is Instagram-able and works on other social media platforms as well.

All The Pigs are the first Theatre Company to champion this idea, for others to follow and change the way we think about promoting shows at festivals around the world.

In what ways do you feel that theatre can bring anything to this discussion, especially in the light of the recent imaginative activism that has been engaging the media, such as Extinction Rebellion?
The purpose of the theatre is to tell stories that talk about our time, gives us some truth to deepen our understanding of who we are as human beings,  share in emotions, make the audience ask questions. We connect with stories far better than we do facts.
Are there methods that theatre can use to do beyond ‘raising awareness’, since it strikes me that much of the audience will at least be aware of the issue?
Look at the Glastonbury Festival 2019 with the ban on single-use plastic bottles. If theatre festivals were to turn around and say no flyering or recyclable paper only, it would make creatives become creative in changing their strategy and approaches to selling their show.
What elements of climate change do you explore, and what ideas are you keen for the audience to take away?
 
Our show is not so much concentrating on climate change but the change in climate around men’s mental health.

It’s an endearing, raw comedy, the story takes place in the present, while the narrative includes flashbacks that inform the audience of significant events from his past and the motivations that lead Alquist to challenge his beliefs about what it means to be a man in today’s world.

image2 - Copy

The catalysts for writing IN THE SHADOW OF THE BLACK DOG are BASED ON TRUE EVENTS. My best friend died. Soon after, I became ill and was sitting in a hospital emergency room, alone and scared believing I wouldn’t have long to live. I felt unable to call anyone for support to be with me.  Months later, I was chased down by two men on a moped, wielding knives, threatening to kill me and I narrowly escaped. After the experience of these events a thought has stayed with me I haven’t been able to shift: I don’t know if I can save myself. I eventually reached out to my mates and found we were all harboring the same fears about being a man or not a good enough one.

 

This story is about confronting fear, embarrassment and pain, learning it doesn’t work if we keep avoiding the root causes and staying quiet. We can’t just put on a mask and convince ourselves everything will be OK. The way to break this cycle of hurt and suffering and to be able to move on is to be willing to ask questions, address the underlying reasons for our unhappiness and engage with others so we can better understand ourselves. Only then can a better life be possible, as we stop trying to survive each day and start to live.

 
The catalysts for writing IN THE SHADOW OF THE BLACK DOG are BASED ON TRUE EVENTS. My best friend died. Soon after, I became ill and was sitting in a hospital emergency room, alone and scared believing I wouldn’t have long to live. I felt unable to call anyone for support to be with me. Months later, I was chased down by two men on a moped, wielding knives, threatening to kill me and I narrowly escaped. After the experience of these events a thought has stayed with me I haven’t been able to shift: I don’t know if I can save myself. I eventually reached out to my mates and found we were all harboring the same fears about being a man or not a good enough one.
This story is about confronting fear, embarrassment and pain, learning it doesn’t work if we keep avoiding the root causes and staying quiet. We can’t just put on a mask and convince ourselves everything will be OK. The way to break this cycle of hurt and suffering and to be able to move on is to be willing to ask questions, address the underlying reasons for our unhappiness and engage with others so we can better understand ourselves. Only then can a better life be possible, as we stop trying to survive each day and start to live.
Outlook-nlqnsbl5 - Copy

Writer / Performer Daniel Hallissey

Director Conor Neaves

Assistant Director Laura Singleton

Designer Pete Butler
Producer All The Pigs Ltd
Poster Design Christopher D Clegg

Notes Ages 15+, Strong language, sexual references
LISTING INFORMATION Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Venue: Assembly Rooms, Front Room, George Street, EH2 2LR

Time: 18:30 Running Time: 60mins

Dates: 1st August – 23rd August. Previews 1-2 August. No show Tue 13 August.

Bookings: assemblyfestival.com, 0131 623 3030 or Assembly box offices at Assembly Rooms

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