Bare – Ed Fringe 2018 – Interview

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Bare is being performed by the ever popular Edinburgh Little Theatre at the Edinburgh Festival this August. Bare is the pop/rock musical telling the story of students, Peter and Jason, who meet and fall in love at a Catholic boarding school but everything is shrouded in secrecy and hidden behind lies. It is a moving musical about ‘forbidden’ love. Cast members Stuart Mitchell who plays Peter, and Callum Ford who plays Jason took time out of their busy schedule to answer a few questions about the show:

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Can you sum up your character in three words? 
Stuart: Genuine, Kind, Struggling
Callum: Conflicted, Desirable, Selfish
What’s been the most challenging part about your role/the production?
Stuart: The issues in the show are so far-reaching that from the initial rehearsal it became clear how important it was to tell the story from a sincere and genuine place. To really “become” the character for a full fringe run is a taxing job – I really have to use my own experiences and feelings to get to the heart of Peter, which isn’t an easy thing to do for a month.
Callum: Having to explore the truths and similarities between my past and the character’s story. It’s a challenge to draw that line between actor and character.
With lots of musicals now tackling LGBT issues, how is Bare different? 
Stuart– Bare is set aside instantly from other musicals by tackling the issues without making anyone a “villian”. The show stays away from demonising the Catholic church by showing the human side of each character – the caring presence of Sister Chantelle within the faculty, the priests guilt towards the end, etc. The lyrics of the songs are very real and avoid being cheesy or feeling forced and the music beautifully guides the story along.
Callum– How deep and detailed the relationship between Peter and Jason is. The fact that they are not out yet and aren’t used as a “joke” stands out. These are 2 real characters, rather than being portrayed as a stereotype or a fetish.
What can audience members expect from Bare?
Stuart– To feel moved. The audience reactions have been very mixed in terms of why the show affected them, but the one thing that is a common theme is that it manages to touch each audience member in some way.
Callum– To be shocked and to have their opinions challenged on a number of factors
What makes Edinburgh Fringe so special as a performer/company?
Stuart– The variety of shows on offer and the chance to see shows that aren’t commonly performed. A lot of our audience has been made up of people who have waited to see Bare for years and hearing that we have exceeded their expectations is incredibly special.
Callum– The people and feeling of community spread throughout the fringe.
Can audience members expect any major changes to the original production? 
Stuart– The set we use is bare (no pun intended!), which helps us to really focus on the truth of the songs and allows the audience to focus only on the performers and the story we are telling.
Callum– Not really, our show is very true to the original production.
Finally, other than your show, what are your top three picks for Ed Fringe this year?
Stuart– All Shook Up (Edinburgh Little Theatre – Hill Street, Venue 41) because I’m in that too! Also, And They Played Shangalang at the same venue and Captivate Theatre’s Annie.
Callum– Six, And They Played Shangalang, All Shook Up

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Bare is playing at Hill Street Theatre, Venue 41 at the Edinburgh Fringe until the 26th August. For information or tickets click here.

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