There is a Chinese proverb: "Don't live in interesting times." Sadly, this is beyond our control - but how we respond to it is not. The necessity of producing this political children's play and sharing it with British families came from the realisation that these turbulent times that we live in are not only difficult for adults but also for children.
frightbite is the UK premiere of a contemporary children's play by the award-winning Hungarian author, Pál Békés, realised by flashpoint collective. It will open at the Bloomsbury Festival in October 2017, then will be shown at the Voila! Europe Festival in November 2017. We are very excited that our production has been selected to be shown at these exceptional festivals.
frightbite tells the story of a world taken over by monsters, with the last few remaining inhabitants scared out of their wits. Who are the monsters in our world? How can we tell them apart? Sometimes, being the monster is easy - not being the monster is harder. This Orwellian play, written by one of Hungary's major children's authors, is about resistance (and how our stories play their part in that), independence, humanity, how to defeat the monsters in our world, and how life's difficulties can shape us to be stronger and better people. frightbite is a play which speaks to both adults and children alike, using metaphor and allegory.
About the author:
Pál Békés (photography: © Aliona Frankl)
PÁL BÉKÉS [pron: Bekesh] (1956 - 2010) was a Hungarian author, playwright and translator. He was a recipient of several prestigious state awards. Stories and storytelling, as one of the most ancient gifts of mankind, intrigued him most as a writer. His works are characterised by a postmodern experimental approach, ironic sense of humour, intelligence, and deep humanism. Békés was at home in various genres: he wrote ten novels, thirteen plays, eight TV dramas, several radio-plays and short stories, and scripted two films. Among other authors he translated the works of Edward Albee, Woody Allen, Anthony Burgess, Vladimir Nabokov, Tom Stoppard, James Thurber, and Sue Townsend into Hungarian. A considerable part of Békés's work is for children - his works are still among the most popular children's books today in Hungary. From 2000 until his premature death, he served as the President of the Hungarian section of the International Board on Books for Young People (YBBY). He launched the Big Read movement in Hungary. frightbite will be the UK premiere of Békés's play.
About the company:
We are the newly formed company flashpoint collective, graduated from the MA Text & Performance course at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) / Birkbeck University. Our aims are to bring radical and contemporary theatre to the stage through collaboration with a range of highly talented professionals. Creativity, imagination and pushing the possibilities of stage craft with puppetry (director of puppetry: Darren East), physical theatre (movement director: Hanna Junti), jazz (composer: Nick Tomalin from E17 Jazz Collective) and imaginative story telling (directed by Kata Waldapfel) characterise our work. Our approach to creating the work also focuses on the ethics of working collaboratively within and for the community.
We believe that theatre is a powerful agent of change, that has the ability to make a difference in our society.
However, we need your support to help get us there and create a complex performance with shadow and object puppetry, physical theatre and jazz music. There are some essential costs which need covering to make this project a reality. With your support we will be able to raise the £20,000 towards the expenses of the performance.
Here is a breakdown of some of the costs:
£ Set, Props, Costume, Puppetry, and Lighting Equipment – We aim to create a complex experience for all the senses. This involves creating a world that begins at the entrance of the theatre. We'll need to design and build a set, make puppets, get screens for the shadow puppetry, buy lanterns, create light and sound design, realise costumes and make-up. We need to raise £7500 to cover just the material and the work.
£ Rehearsal room rental - It takes time to develop a show of this complexity. Although RADA has given us concessions in the rehearsal room hire, still it is a considerable amount we'll need to raise. A pledge of £100 would pay for one day's rehearsal room rental fee.
£ Artistic costs - We pledge to ethical working processes, and not to take advantage of the greatest asset to this performance: the work of the ensemble. We aim to pay the recommended industry minimum fees to everyone - a huge commitment from a fringe company. We work with designers, musicians, movement director, director of puppetry, performers. A pledge of £500 would pay one actor's fee for a week's rehearsals.
£ Marketing costs – As a new company, we need to become visible, and make sure that we reach out to the widest possible audience. We are receiving some marketing support from the venues we are performing at, but would want to extend our marketing beyond our organic reach. We are working with illustrator Seb Braun to create posters, flyers, and a logo for the performance. A pledge of £1000 would help us achieve this goal.
£ BSL Interpreter - We would like to make our show accessible to the deaf community. A pledge of £250 would enable for us to pay for a BSL Interpreter for one day's work.
£ Going Green - We are committed to ecological and environment friendly processes. Recycling, reusing, donating unused material etc. A pledge of £50 would enable us to make the necessary arrangements for a week.
£ Storage - We don't have an office or a building. We need to store our equipment off site. A pledge of £25 would pay for a month's storage space for us.
£ After show tea party - A surprise for the children at the end of a 2 hour long show. Because we do care about our audience's wellbeing. It would cost us £250 / show.
£ Transport - To get the set, props, puppets for the show to all the venues. A pledge of £100 would pay for a van and petrol for a day.
We have already secured some in-kind support from RADA, the Hungarian Cultural Centre, and the Dramaturgs' Network, however, without your help we will not be able to make a show that meets the high standards that we set for ourselves as a company. Your support is very important to us, and we have got some wonderful rewards featuring frightbite artwork by illustrator Seb Braun to offer you for your generous contributions.
Bloomsbury Festival: 18-22 October 2017
Voila! Europe Festival: Sunday 12 November 2017, 4pm
Saturday, 18 November 2017, 4pm
Any amount you can donate will get us one step closer to creating a show that will be inspiring for our audiences. Please be the hero of our story, join forces with us, and make a pledge to help us see the happy ending of our monstrous adventure!
Thank you for taking the time to look at our page, please share it if you can, and we hope to see you at a showing of frightbite.
frightbite artwork by Leo Tomalin ©
The flashpoint collective logo and the 'frightbite Story Book' painting was created by Minna Jeffery.