Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Rowan’s challenging stories ask questions about how we as society judge individual worth and when to wear a label.
About the project
Rowan is a hip hop and punk-inspired poet diagnosed with a specific learning difficulty and speech impediment, often disabled by other people’s perceptions. Marv Radio is a beatboxer with dexterous lips and an arsenal of sounds. With big beats and big words, and the rhythm of Rowan’s irregular heartbeat, they ask you to consider the effects of a society obsessed with normality. In a world of normcore fashion and statistical averages, what’s so important about blending in? Commissioned by Cambridge Junction. Supported by Escalator Performing Arts. Part of Stopgap Dance Company’s iF Platform.
£1,500 is needed to pay for:
Cast and crew accommodation and food budget in Edinburgh
Professional technical support during the run
2 extra days of producer Luke Emery's time to ensure successful delivery of the project
After two years of development, Easy For You To Say is now a full spoken-word theatre show with the music of beat boxing to bring its content and lyricism to life.
"the word formulations were incredibly beautiful – proper silvery poetry, deep and bright, and I really enjoyed it.” Exeunt Magazine
It is a show about labels, self identity, perception and about the aspirations and lack of understanding within society around learning difficulties and disabilities. Rowan’s challenging stories ask questions about how we as society judge individual worth; exploring an individual’s choice of when to wear a label and when not to.
Performed as one long poem (from rap to prose poetry), sound-tracked by and with beatbox interludes, the show takes the audience on a journey from bus stop encounters, through judgements, statistical averages, compromises and quirks. The audience will leave questioning what ‘normal’ even is, and why anyone would even want to aim to be that.
"This is very empowering stuff, and much needed. If there’s any justice in the world it will be touring itself silly soon, and you’d be a fool to miss it" Slate The Disco
Rowan’s poetry draws on personal experience, and the experience of others, but stays away from narrative based autobiography, instead aiming to tackle the bigger picture through his own stories and the stories of others.
Rowan and the show’s collaborators hold a firm desire to use Rowan to illustrate the subject, not as a sole example or for personal catharsis but as a vehicle to invite the audience to explore their relationship with judgements, labels and perceptions of disability. The show’s creative team are all established theatre professionals. It will be performed by Rowan James and Marv Radio. Producer is Luke Emery, poet Hannah Jane Walker will act as a mentor and dramaturg, and Daniel Pitt is directing.
The project is supported by Arts Council England and Cambridge Junction as part of the Escalator Performing Arts Scheme. It is being presented at the Edinburgh Fringe as a part of the iF (Integrated Fringe) Platform alongside Stopgap Dance, Jo Bannon, Tourette’s Hero and Marc Brew Company.
Rowan James 'Easy For You To Say'
Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 24th - 31st August 2015
ZOO Southside - - BOOK TICKETS HERE