Edmund the Learned Pig: On The Road

2 members of the cast during a performance

That beacon of porcine intelligence, otherwise known as Edmund the Learned Pig, is clicking his trotters with Glee and calling on his fellow performers to dust off their travelling trunks as they gear up for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer!

The Fittings and Krazy Kat offices are buzzing with the news that their show about the aforementioned pig has been selected as part of the British Council’s Edinburgh Showcase at the festival, which will see promoters descend on the Scottish capital from all over the world to see the best of what Britain’s theatre artists can produce.

This Edinburgh run will be the forerunner of a UK tour and it’s hoped will generate interest in opportunities for Edmund to make his international debut. The future for this clever pig could be looking rosy but life had to start somewhere…

“So settle down my dearly beloved and I’ll tell you how it all began. One wet and windy evening, theatre legend Garry Robson escaped from the cold and found shelter in a small theatre in the heart of London Town only to discover that the well known “anarchic Brechtian street opera trio” The Tiger Lillies we’re performing that evening. During the performance they sang a song close to every Freak’s heart ‘The Learned Pig’ and Garry knew at once that a show was there to be made. Chatting to his good friend Kinny Gardner of Lindsay Kemp Company and Krazy Kat fame the two of them hatched a plan to beard The Lillie’s in one of their regular Soho haunts and convince them to write the score for a Learned Pig theatrical adventure.

“Wot me? Write songs for kids?” said erstwhile troubadour Martyn Jacques.

“But yes, the darker the better…” said Gaz and Kin.

“Are you sure?” said Martyn.

“Oh we’re sure…” said Kin and Gaz, “and we’ll get legendary children’s writer Sir Mike Kenny to write the script”.

And so the show was born. With this juicy pie in place the hapless duo chatted to their good friends at The Royal Exchange in the people’s republic of Manchester who at once agreed to support them and put on the show. And now, the legend that is Edmund continues….”

The show is one of the most ambitious creations for both companies and includes six brilliant performers:

There’s expert puppetry by Anthony Cairns (Shockheaded Peter); BSL and SSE interpretation throughout by the superb Kinny Gardner (Krazy Kat Theatre, Lindsey Kemp Company) and Caroline Parker MBE along with original music by Martyn Jacques, played and sung by the illustrious musician and songbird Sally Clay; a stunning aerial performance by Annette Walker and all held together by circus ringmaster extraordinaire (and Fittings Artistic Director) Garry Robson.

Edmund the Learned Pig was originally developed with The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester and ran for two-and-a-half weeks in the theatre’s studio space in the autumn of 2013. After being selected as part of the Unlimited commissions the show played at The Queen Elizabeth Hall at The Southbank Centre as part of Unlimited Festival in September last year and Fittings producer, Adrian Turrell-Watts, is now shaping up a tour immediately following the Edinburgh run.

The tour will be playing as far a-field as Norwich, Wolverhampton and Knaresborough but the company is looking for dates at mid-size spaces across the UK with dates currently available in September (1st-3rd, 7th-12th & 16th-29th).

The show is being re-worked to make the playing space flexible and fringe friendly and requests for further information can be made to Adrian, at adrian@fittings.org.uk, who is fielding interest in touring opportunities for September initially.


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