Published on June 20th, 2016 | by Francesca Baker0
Anna Beecher’s Skin of The Teeth
They say that a story comes alive through its telling, and that’s certainly true when Anna Beecher is involved. A writer, performer, storyteller and poet, she writes and delivers creative and vibrant work that thrives on the stage and in the minds and hearts of everyone that sees. An artist who works with words, performance and people, she revels in the freedom of working across different forms, but says that it all comes from the same place. ‘I just want to tell stories and make things.’
So the news that her new play, Skin of The Teeth, is something to celebrate. ‘It’s an exciting, terrifying thing to do’ Anna says, but her CV is impressive. In just the last couple of years she was commissioned to write a new play for a cast of 60 people, The Surplus, for the Young Vic Theatre, and also worked on another project with the theatre creating text and installation responding to oral histories. In the spring of 2015 she made Nest, a poetic, sensory show for babies and adults; wrote and performed a new version of the Grimms’ tale Iron Jon for Art in Action Festival, where she has been making storytelling work for the last few years, as well as leading lots of workshops, community performance projects and taking part in numerous shows across the country.
The trio behind the play have a bit of history. After studying at the BRIT School Anna formed a theatre company called FAT CONTENT. They collaboratively made new theatre and toured it, travelling around festivals, theatres, villages and warehouses, and Anna feels ‘very fortunate that people took risks on our work, mentored and encouraged us. It was tough and brilliant and we took plays to festivals, around tiny villages in Somerset, performed theatres, warehouses and fields.’
As happens, they went their separate ways. In 2011 Daniel went to New York, Rachel to Paris and Anna to London, but those years have seen them develop as artists, and now, five years on, they’re ready to get together again. Says Anna, ‘Skin of The Teeth is the first new play by FAT CONTENT since 2011. It’s a joy to be working together again and we’re using everything we’ve learnt individually in that time.’
The one man play, directed by Rachel, performed by Daniel and written by Anna has been described as ‘Thriller meets fairy tale.’ A retelling of The Boy Who Went Forth to Learn To Shudder, 19 year old Nicholas finds a fistful of teeth and is propelled into a perilous world of manipulation, ritual and dangerous men. A physical and bold show exploring fear, fearlessness and the manipulation of young men they have managed to take an ancient story and bring it to life with a modern heartbeat.
16th -19th July – Underground Venues, Buxton Festival Fringe (preview)