When HiBROW approached Dominic Hill, who at the time was artistic director of the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh, to serve as its first curator of theatre he explained that he had wanted to preserve the theatre's 50 year old international reputation as the champion of fresh contemporary playwriting.
To demonstrate that, he commissioned five leading British writers with an open brief to write a half hour play which would unapologetically rely on text and would be performed in what is now regarded as an established 'hybrid' platform for new plays: the Staged Reading.
Staged Readings at the Traverse are rehearsed with established theatre directors and then presented in their studio, Traverse 2, in front of a paying audience at breakfast time!
HiBROW's six camera teams captured the entire rehearsal process of all five plays and in so doing made a bold decision: all were filmed with cameras visibly part of the audience's experience. The material was then edited without any attempt to disguise the shooting paraphernalia. Equally important was that the carefully chosen group of professional actors involved in this concept adjusted their performances accordingly without compromising the audience's enjoyment. The studio atmosphere of the smaller Traverse space afforded an intimacy that allowed the spectators at the sold out performances to have a privileged insight into the work of five of Britain and Ireland's great playwrights and powerful access to the way that brilliant actors shape text and dialogue.
Ben Gutteridge directed this film of Enda Walsh's play, My Friend Duplicity, directed by Vicky Featherstone for the Traverse. Ben is one of Britain's emerging group of young talented film-makers who have cut their creative teeth on Internet projects and TV drama.