Interbeing, by Bilbao-based company 2theatre, to premiere at the Festival Fringe

Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.

2019-07-04

The international Bilbao-based company 2Theatre, directed by Svetlana Biba and Txema Perez, will premiere their latest work, Interbeing, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The show that delves into the bowels of human conflict will be staged in the Ballroom of The Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh from August 1 to 25. Along with 2theatre, a series of Basque artists and companies will exhibit their work at the Festival Fringe as part of the #ScotlandGoesBasque programme.

The international Bilbao-based company 2Theatre, directed by Svetlana Biba and Txema Perez, will premiere their latest work, Interbeingat the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The show that delves into the bowels of human conflict will be staged in the Ballroom of The Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh from August 1 to 25. Along with 2theatre, a series of Basque artists and companies will exhibit their work at the Festival Fringe as part of the #ScotlandGoesBasque programme. 

Interbeing is rooted in autobiographical testimonies that emerged in the context of a research project developed by the 2Theatre company on the current conflict in Ukraine. A wide range of topics are addressed, from love to post-traumatic stress syndrome. Txema Perez, head of 2Theatre as well as Interbeing creator and actor, has this to say about the purpose of his show: “My character is a photographer covering the conflict; as the show progresses, my role becomes entangled with the conflict and we pose the following question to the audience: What is each person’s role in a conflict? Is it possible to remain a mere spectator? Or are we involved whether we want to or not?”

Interbeing will have its world premiere at the Fringe, considered today to be the world’s leading festival of performing arts. In addition to 2Theatre, the Festival programme will also  include Krego-Martín Danza, Proyecto Colectivo HQPC, Tío Teronen Semeak and Akira Yoshida. Edinburgh will also set the stage for the premiere of Atlantik 1050. The noteworthy presence of Basque artists at the Fringe is part of the #ScotlandGoesBasque programme sponsored by the Etxepare Basque Institute. Thanks to this programme, Basque language and culture will hold a prominent place this year in the cultural life of Scotland, which has become a showcase for the work of Basque artists and performers across different disciplines.

Txema Perez has this to say about the nature of Interbeing: “Our shows are based on visual theatre, in which we use masks, images, movement, etc. Words also have a place here (in this case, the Basque language), but anyone can understand our shows, regardless of where they’re from. They can be staged anywhere in the world.” Defined as a visual rhapsody, Interbeing is a very vivid show in which physicality takes on great importance: Basque and Ukrainian performers use interpretation and acrobatics to convey the depth and strength of the story to the audience. The work of the actors is also supported by various means, including music created and performed live by Mikey Kirkpatrick, animated objects, the use of artifacts or a moving collection of documentary photographs that capture real scenes from the conflict in Ukraine “These photographs were taken by photographers and soldiers; in fact, it’s often the soldiers themselves who act as reporters, carrying a rifle in one hand and a camera in the other,” explains Txema Perez. This is the situation that his work seeks to reflect. And just as the stories are real, so are the objects and costumes, donated by families and soldiers.

Interbeing is the result of two years of work. In July 2017 the London Physical Theatre School organized the first theatre summer school in Ukraine. The school, which used techniques such as mindfulness and collaborative work to approach the theater, brought together thirty theatre professionals from different parts of the country. The result was presented at the GOGOLfest international festival in Kiev and later brought to Basauri and Elorrio, with the help of an artist-in-residence programme sponsored by the Basque Government. Four of the actors taking part in the physical theatre school were selected to elaborate the show based on a previous process of reflection. Besides being talented actors, all four had been involved in violence, either having been part of radical groups or through their involvement in their country’s armed conflict.

The artistic team behind Interbeing are the show’s creators and actors Svetlana Biba and Txema Perez; guest directors Kristin Indahl and George Siena; actors Daniil Timofeev, Dmitriy Stoyan, Konstiantyn Pryvylovskyi and Semjon Kislyj; musician Mikey Kirkpatrick; lighting designer Arantza Heredia; and stage director Maria Montague.

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