It's almost show time!
Square Peg runs from Aug 4-12th, 14-19th, at 18:20, at Paradise at Augustines, Edinburgh; preview Aug 4th. Aug 12th includes a BSL interpreter.
Content warning: Audience participation, contains distressing or potentially triggering themes, scenes of a sexual nature, strong language/swearing.
WHAT IS SQUARE PEG ALL ABOUT?
Body Shop Cucumber cleanser, Satin bias-cut gowns, plucked eyebrows, muslin circular skirts, bleach blonde hair, makeup and sex; the landscape of one man’s youth is a rich tapestry of beautifully wrought objects and less beautifully wrought relationships. Trauma, loneliness and craftsmanship coalesced into a constellation of a futile yearning for love and belonging, and a soul deep craving to be seen.
His failure to find peace becomes impossible to ignore; forced inwards to meet himself he seeks solace in the worlds of poetry and birds; the humble Black Bird, Hardy’s Darkling Thrush, may have the answer...
Square Peg is a story about mid-life crisis as an awakening, a call to arms, if you will, to live more fully, in the time we have at our disposal.
Using a hodgepodge of clowning, physical theatre, music, poetry, birdsong, sewing techniques, with a dressmaking demonstration chucked in for good measure, Square Peg seeks to chart a path through this tangled thicket of grief; suggesting that maybe, art could save us all.
WHY DID I MAKE IT?
Square Peg charts the story of a life in the world of fashion; trying to satiate a submerged craving for love and attention by making exquisite dresses for beautiful women, hoping that this would somehow fill the gaping hole in my life; it was all very messed up and mixed up, let's say.
But I discovered, as I reached middle age, that nothing had worked.
This is a key element of the play; the masculine drive for perfection, for status and achievement and money and sex appeal, and having a beautiful partner and a successful family life and a great job and car and everything.
And so much of that falls away, and it doesn't work and your wife hates you and your kids hate you and you lose your job and you don't have any money and the whole dream and fantasy collapses, and what are you actually going to do with your life?
THE GREAT BRITISH SEWING BEE
If you like the Great British Sewing Bee, I think you’re going to enjoy this show. There’s sewing, cutting, dress-making techniques, pressing techniques, and much more!
Oh, and it includes me shouting at my sewing, so very realistic!
During lockdown I found myself studying for an MA in Acting at East 15. I realised I didn't need to make objects, I could just be myself and then I was the work. And by doing that, people couldn't buy the objects off me, because I was the object.
Whilst acting, something important revealed itself; I was able to get the connection I sought with an audience, and at the same time I was able to give them something in return. Not just entertainment, but a moving and relatable story; a shared recognition of mutual fragility and humanity. In a way, Square Peg is really about that process of figuring out how to heal the wounds of trauma whilst also deciding what to do with the time one has left.
And perhaps by telling this story I can be of service; maybe it touches other people and points a way forward for them too…
So, in the end, Square Peg is about healing trauma; it’s about getting in touch with oneself on a deep level and learning to listen to, and ultimately express, one’s own authentic voice; and then offering that to the world as art.
I’ve been in therapy for many years, slowly working through painful feelings and experiences. This process has been deeply tied up with the act of creativity and it is my thought that the creative drive in ALL of us is a path to healing and self-realisation, no matter the type of work; from crochet to cake baking, modifying your car, gardening, writing a poem, or learning heavy rock guitar, from pet grooming to perhaps taking a solitary walk through the woods and noticing the delicious beauty all around. It all counts, and I think everyone would benefit from having a creative outlet in some form or other…
WHAT THE AUDIENCE SAID...
"It is rare you see a show that has as much heart to it as Square peg. There wasn't a single audience member who wasn’t hanging on to every word Simeon said. An incredibly personal story I wish everyone could hear!"
"My favourite type of theatre is when you know no one else could make what you’re watching and this is that! A beautifully heartfelt insight into the man on the stage."
“A truly unique piece of new theatre, raw and real and fantastically moving”
To see images of the rewards I am offering, head to this link.
If your reward needs a size, then I will be in contact with you down the line to verify that with you.
WHY DO I NEED YOUR SUPPORT?
Getting this play to Edinburgh Fringe is proving expensive. I had hoped to self-fund it and have already invested about £6000 of my own money, but I need some help to get to the finish line… My experience of performing this show is that it touches people quite deeply. It seems to resonates amongst young and old alike, by landing on a quintessentially human experience.
It is my belief that this is an important work, and deserves to be seen by as many people as possible.
Where will your money go?
- A BSL Signer for a deaf accessible show.
- Paying my stage manager Charlie.
- Marketing costs.
- Tech operator costs.
- Some dinner...